1990Nonprofits laundered cash for Abramoff: Senate panel
- Oct 13, 2006http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061013/pl_nm/congress_abramoff_dc
Nonprofits laundered cash for Abramoff: Senate panel
By Andy Sullivan Fri Oct 13, 1:07 AM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Five conservative nonprofit
groups laundered money and wrote opinion pieces for
disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and sold their
influence with U.S. government officials, according to
a Senate report.
The Senate Finance Committee said in the report
released on Thursday that the five groups probably
violated their tax-exempt status by working closely
with Abramoff, the lobbyist at the center of a growing
"These tax-exempt organizations engaged in what
amounted to profit-seeking and private benefit
behavior inconsistent with their tax-exempt status,"
said the report, which was prepared by the Democratic
committee staff and approved by its Republican
chairman, Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley (news, bio,
By abusing their nonprofit status, "these tax-exempt
organizations appear to have perpetrated a fraud on
other taxpayers," the report said.
The five groups named in the report are Americans for
Tax Reform, headed by influential conservative
activist Grover Norquist; the Council of Republicans
for Environmental Advocacy, which was founded by Gale
Norton before she became Secretary of the Interior;
Citizens Against Government Waste, which fights "pork
barrel" spending; the National Center for Public
Policy Research, a think tank; and Toward Tradition, a
According to the report, some of the groups laundered
money from Abramoff's lobbying clients and took
payments to write newspaper opinion pieces. Some took
payments from Abramoff's lobbying clients in return
for introducing them to prominent Bush administration
officials, while others underwrote trips for members
of Congress that were actually paid for with money
from Abramoff lobbying clients.
All except Toward Tradition told The Washington Post
that they have done nothing wrong.
Abramoff and several associates have pleaded guilty to
conspiracy and fraud in an influence-peddling scandal
and are cooperating with investigators in the Justice
Ohio Republican Rep. Bob Ney (news, bio, voting
record) has agreed to plead guilty to illegally
accepting trips, meals, drinks and tickets from
Abramoff and his lobbyists and was due to appear in
court later on Friday to formally enter his plea.
David Safavian, a former Bush administration official,
was convicted in June of lying about his links to
Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a Texas
Republican, resigned from his seat in June after his
close ties with Abramoff were made public.