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Reply #3: Sources: Wikipedia, SourceWatch "involved in efforts to help two of Abramoffs clients" [View All]

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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-27-07 07:22 PM
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James Steven "Steve" Griles (born December 13, 1947) was a coal lobbyist and the Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Interior from July 12, 2001, until his resignation on Dec. 7, 2004. Second in rank only to then-Secretary Gale Norton, Griles "effectively was Interior's chief operating officer ... and its top representative on Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force.<1> On March 23, 2007 he pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in the Senate investigation of the Abramoff scandal, the top Bush administration official to do so.<2>, and on June 26 was sentenced to a fine and 10 months imprisonment. ....

Griles was also asked to testify before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee in the 2005 investigation of the Abramoff scandal. Abramoff's private emails indicated that Griles had pledged to use his authority to block a casino which Abramoff was lobbying against. Abramoff also indicated that he was interested in hiring Griles.

Furthermore, Griles was involved with donations made to Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, run by his then girlfriend Italia Federici. Donations were made to CREA by both Abramoff's tribal clients and by energy-sector companies with connections to Griles. ....


Testimony: Abramoff-Reed Indian Gambling Scandal

Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) "has called on the former No. 2 official at the Interior Department to testify before a Senate panel investigating lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his involvement with Indian gambling tribes," The Hill's Josephine Hearn reported. This "marks the fourth and final in the Indian Affairs Committees investigation of Abramoff." McCain is now chairman of the panel.

Griles "was involved in efforts to help two of Abramoffs clients the Louisiana Coushatta tribe and the Saginaw Chippewa tribe of Michigan fend off casino proposals from rival tribes and may have done so while engaged in employment negotiations with Abramoff, recent news reports have said. Griles has said through spokespeople that he did not play a major role in endeavors to aid the tribes," Hearn wrote.

"The development marks the first time McCain has taken direct aim at the administration during the Indian Affairs Committees year-and-a-half-long investigation of Abramoff, his associate Michael Scanlon and their efforts to extract more than $80 million in lobbying and public-relations fees from Indian tribes," Hearn said.

"Griles is expected to appear alongside Italia Federici at the hearing ... Federici, who was an aide to Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton during her 1996 Senate bid, reportedly served as a go-between linking Griles and Abramoff. Federici is president of the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, a group founded by Norton and anti-tax activist Grover Norquist."

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