Saturday, October 08, 2005

Karl Rove, Jack Abramoff and Timothy E. Flanigan, Part 2

One reason that Alberto Gonzales didn't get the nod for the Supreme Court is that Timothy E. Flanigan, the man nominated to serve as his deputy in the Justice Department, was facing a difficult confirmation process that would have brought unwelcome attention to the ties between uber-sleazeball lobbyist Jack Abramoff and Karl Rove.
Flanigan, who served with Gonzales as deputy counsel in the White House, is senior vice president and general counsel to Tyco International. While at Tyco, Flanigan hired Abramoff (now under indictment) to lobby the federal government to allow Tyco to compete for government contracts even though the company is domiciled in Bermuda to avoid paying taxes. In a statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Flanigan described how Abramoff traded on his claims of access to the White House:
Abramoff later said "he had contact with Mr. Karl Rove" about the issue, according to the statement by Flanigan, who oversaw Tyco's dealings with Abramoff and his firm and received reports from Abramoff about progress in the lobbying campaign. Flanigan's statement is the latest indication that Abramoff promoted himself as having ready access to senior officials in the Bush administration.
Having served in the White House, Flanigan could hardly have claimed that he was duped by Abramoff's claims of access. Presumably he didn't want to discuss his hiring of Abramoff on C-SPAN and decided to bail out before next week's hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. But as the Washington Post reports, Flanigan may yet get his moment in the spotlight:
"While Mr. Flanigan's nomination has been withdrawn, troubling questions remain about the Bush administration's torture policies and Abramoff's dealings with the administration and the Republican leadership of Congress," said Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.).

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