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Reply #21: Gale A. Norton: Griles merits leniency [View All]

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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-29-07 02:08 PM
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21. Gale A. Norton: Griles merits leniency
Griles merits leniency, ex-officials say
The former deputy secretary of the Interior could get prison for lying to Senate investigators in the Abramoff scandal.
By Henry Weinstein, Times Staff Writer - June 24, 2007

Former Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton is urging a federal judge in Washington to show leniency in sentencing her former top deputy, but leaders of Indian and environmental organizations want J. Steven Griles to be given a stiff sentence for his crimes.

... described by GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff as "our guy" at the Interior Department ... Norton's chief deputy from 2001 to 2005, admitted that he lied when he told Senate investigators and the Senate Indian Affairs Committee in 2005 that Abramoff had no special access to his office. Abramoff had "instant and continued access to Griles" upon meeting him and forcefully sought assistance from the Interior Department for the tribes he represented, according to court documents. ...

Several other former Interior Department officials, Republican Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter of Idaho and Rep. Barbara Cubin (R-Wyo.) are among 90 other people who have submitted letters on Griles' behalf. ...

The prosecutors countered that "a sentence of incarceration will send a message to all would-be congressional witnesses that they are expected to testify fully and completely, or face serious punitive consequences." ... "Griles' lies and withholding of material information perverted the congressional investigation into the alleged access and influence Abramoff had" ...

In his efforts to help Abramoff, the prosecutors said, Griles went so far as to review a seating chart at a dinner party held by Federici, so that Abramoff could introduce clients to ranking Interior Department officials ...
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