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Lawmaker Subpoenaed in Abramoff Lobby Case

November 05, 2005|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio) has been subpoenaed to provide documents and testimony in the government's investigation of indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a Ney spokesman said Friday.

Spokesman Brian Walsh said the Justice Department had requested documents. It was later announced in the House that Ney had been served with a grand jury subpoena, issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Abramoff is under investigation for his lobbying activities on behalf of Indian tribes and his role in paying for overseas trips for former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas). DeLay denied knowing that Abramoff paid the expenses.

The Congressional Record shows that Ney is the first lawmaker subpoenaed in the Abramoff case.

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee has also been investigating Abramoff, and Chairman John McCain has said that Abramoff and an associate bilked millions of dollars from tribal clients. The Interior Department is investigating Abramoff too.

"I voluntarily provided information to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee last year, and I have offered to make myself available to meet with the House Ethics Committee," Ney said in a statement. "I believe, however, that although the government's investigation of Mr. Abramoff has been well-publicized through other sources, it is inappropriate for my office to comment in any detail" on an open investigation.

Separately, Abramoff has pleaded not guilty to a six-count federal fraud and conspiracy indictment stemming from his role in the 2000 purchase of a fleet of gambling boats in Florida.

Ney took an Abramoff-sponsored golf trip to Scotland in 2002. Indian Affairs Committee investigators, meanwhile, found an e-mail from Abramoff claiming Ney had promised to help an Indian tribe in Texas to reopen a closed casino and subsequent e-mails directing the tribe to pay Ney $32,000.

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