- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 23, 2005

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Jack Abramoff, the Republican lobbyist under investigation by federal authorities on fraud charges, repeatedly sought the help of Bush strategist Ralph Reed to open doors at the White House for his business clients, according to e-mail made public yesterday.

The e-mails show Mr. Abramoff had pushed for intervention from Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove on at least three occasions to promote business opportunities.

Mr. Reed, former head of the Christian Coalition and a nominee in the 2006 race for Georgia’s lieutenant governor, wrote back obliging responses, according to the e-mail obtained by Time magazine. The e-mail is being reviewed by federal investigators, Time reported.

The e-mail shows that 10 days after the September 11 attacks, Mr. Abramoff promoted a business venture to rent cruise ships to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to house rescue workers off New York.

Responding to Mr. Abramoff’s request for help, Mr. Reed wrote on Sept. 21, 2001: “Put in a tag call to karl to find out the best contact at fema.”

Four months later, Mr. Abramoff wrote Mr. Reed seeking “serious swat from Karl” in hopes of getting $16 million released by the Justice Department to fund a jail that his Choctaw Indian clients wanted to build in Mississippi. Mr. Reed replied that he was at a lunch with Mr. Rove at a Republican National Committee meeting and would report the “substance shortly.”

Mr. Reed agreed to give Mr. Rove materials on behalf of the Choctaws, Time reported.

The cruise-ship deal was not accepted, but the Choctaws got the jail.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Reed, Lisa Baron, told Time that her boss receives many requests for help and “does not recall following up on these matters.”

In a third set of e-mails, Mr. Reed says he “weighed in heavily” with the White House on behalf of Mr. Abramoff to block Angela Williams from being appointed head of the Interior Department’s Office Insular Affairs.

Mr. Abramoff, not satisfied, responded in a Dec. 5, 2001, e-mail: “Any ideas on how we can make sure she does not get it? Can you ping Karl on this?”

Mr. Reed responded: “i am seeing him tomorrow at the WH and plan to discuss it with him as well.”

Mrs. Williams didn’t get the appointment.


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