He and others spoke on the condition of anonymity, because they did not want further publicity connecting them to Abramoff. Also, it should be noted that the lobbyists we spoke with continue to rely on access to lawmakers like Reid.
Ron Platt, a Democratic lobbyist who worked for a time with Abramoff on behalf of several clients and managed relations (such as they were) with Reid and other Democrats, said, "It's beyond my belief that he would have trusted a Democratic senator or house member."
"Jack Abramoff would never let any Democratic lobbyist, even on his team, manage one of his client matters," said Platt.
Several expressed disbelief that Abramoff had the goods on Reid, as the ABC post suggested. "As far as I know, I can say that there is not a shred of truth to any allegation that anything Reid did that may have benefited a Greenberg client was done for anything of value given to Sen. Reid by Jack Abramoff or anyone else at Greenberg," one former associate said, noting that the few actions Reid took which benefited Abramoff's clients were consistent with positions the Nevada senator had long espoused.
The ABC story is of course not the first one to purport to show Abramoff's access to Reid. The Associated Press ran what we found to be a deeply flawed story earlier this year detailing contacts with Reid's staff by lobbyists at Greenberg Traurig -- a story that ABC relied on for evidence of Abramoff's access to Reid in their recent story.