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Abramoff asked $9 million from Gabon for meeting with Bush

RAW STORY

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Thursday's New York Times will feature a front page story on Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist linked to former House GOP leader DeLay, RAW STORY has learned.

Excerpts from the forthcoming story:

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The lobbyist Jack Abramoff asked for $9 million in 2003 from the president of a small West African nation to arrange a meeting with President Bush and directed his fees to a Maryland company now under federal scrutiny, according to newly disclosed documents.

The African leader, President Omar Bongo of Gabon, met with Bush in the Oval Office on May 26, 2004, 10 months after Abramoff made the offer. There has been no evidence in the public record that the lobbyist had any role in organizing the meeting or that he received any money or had a signed contract with Gabon.

White House and State Department officials described Bush's meeting with Bongo as routine. Gabon is regularly accused by the United States of human rights abuses.

The officials said they knew of no involvement by Abramoff in the arrangements. Officials at Gabon's embassy in Washington did not respond to written questions.

"This went through normal staffing channels," Trent Duffy, a White House spokesman, told the Times. He said the meeting was "part of the president's outreach to the continent of Africa."

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The rest of the article can be read at the (registration required) Times Website.

Originally published on Wednesday November 9, 2005

 


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