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The Daily Muck

A subpoena in the case, issued this month to an Abramoff associate, says the US government is seeking information on Abramoff-related activities with ''any department, ministry, or office holder or agent of the Russian government."<snip>

Investigators have asked for any information about Abramoff's dealings with two top Naftasib executives, Alexander Koulakovsky and Marina Nevskaya. Senior Naftasib executives helped arrange a trip Abramoff took to Moscow in 1997 with former House majority leader Tom DeLay, a longtime Abramoff friend.

The subpoena specifically requests information about dealings between the Abramoff associate receiving the subpoena and DeLay.<snip>

The subpoena indicates that investigators want to establish what the Russians were trying to accomplish through Abramoff.

It asks for records relating to Naftasib's interest in legislation, tax policy, and the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF, which is financed partly by the US government, has provided billions of dollars in loans and loan guarantees to the Russian government.

Geeslin [he ran the U.S. Family Network, the organization that the Russian money was funneled through] said he had been told that the money was aimed at influencing the vote of DeLay, the former House majority leader, on legislation that shored up the IMF's financing for Russia.

There's more including a shell Dutch company, more skybox fun, and one man's suspicion that Abramoff was trying to become "an agent of influence for the Russian government." Enjoy!

Meanwhile, in other DeLay news, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has awarded him with the "Spirit of Enterprise" award for "voting with the business community on a consistent basis."

No doubt the Russians would agree.

Duke's Bribe Menu Shocks, SHOCKS Colleagues

The San Diego Union-Tribune ran a piece yesterday, polling other lawmakers on the revelation that Duke Cunningham was actually venal enough to keep a "bribe menu" that tallied how much his support would cost his beloved defense contractors. There was shock and disappoint all around.

One lawmaker, however, refused to pile on:

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-El Cajon, perhaps Cunningham's closest friend in Congress, refused to comment about the bribe menu. Instead, he faulted federal prosecutors, saying that although they probably knew about the bribe menu long ago, they are now “eking out their most damaging evidence . . . to bolster their position.”

What vile, cunning prosecutors they are.

Santorum's Shadiness

CREW has filed an ethics complaint against Sen. Santorum (R-PA) for getting a mortgage deal from a bank that seems to have given him special consideration, seeing as how he's a U.S. Senator and all.

Burns in the Running with Presidential Support

Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT), who wishes Abramoff "had never been born," filed for his fourth term yesterday.

President Bush is hosting a fundraiser for him next month.

Here's the invitation.

Ney - Dead Man Running

Rep. Ney (R-OH) has a defense fund. Oh, he'll need it.

Reform

Rep. Louise Slaughter's (D-NY) office released a report yesterday called America for Sale, 181 pages of full-on muck, a valuable resource, a sort of muck encyclopedia, taking four pieces of legislation as test cases. You can read it here.

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