April 25, 2007
Is that all there is?

When you see a headline that says DeLay associate tied to Abramoff probe, you kind of expect the story to be all about an associate of Tom DeLay's and his alleged ties to Jack Abramoff. That's not quite what we get, however.

[P]rosecutors could decide within weeks whether to bring charges against former DeLay staff chief Edwin Buckham, according to sources close to the investigation who spoke on the condition that they not be identified. The decision should give a clear signal on whether DeLay remains in legal jeopardy, the sources said.

In recent days federal prosecutors have served notice that their sprawling Abramoff case has remained very much alive.


Investigators have looked closely at the $115,000 that Buckham's lobbying firm, Alexander Strategy Group, paid Christine DeLay at a rate of $3,200 a month beginning in 1998, soon after Buckham left his job as DeLay's chief of staff. A nonprofit company set up by Buckham, the U.S. Family Network, received a major part of its funding from companies with ties to Abramoff. Then, the nonprofit paid Buckham and his lobbying firm hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees.

Buckham's attorney did not return calls and e-mails seeking comment.

The payments to Christine DeLay resembled, at least superficially, those Abramoff's former lobbying firm gave to Julie Doolittle's company, Sierra Dominion Financial Solutions Inc., between September 2002 and February 2004.

[DeLay attorney Richard] Cullen has said the money for Christine DeLay was a legitimate payment from the lobbying firm for work she did to compile a list of charities in House members' districts.

Most of the rest of the article is a rehash of stuff that has happened, like the guilty pleas of former DeLay staffers Mike Scanlon and Tony Rudy, plus a recap of recent activity by the FBI. I don't want to be dismissive of the idea that prosecutors "could decide within weeks" whether or not to charge Ed Buckham - if such a thing is being said to a reporter, it almost surely means there will be charges brought, and that is big news - and I'm always happy to see a reminder of DeLay's sleaze in the papers, but still. That headline was more tease than delivery.

TPM Muckraker has more on all this, but the guy who's really been on top of it all around here is Greg in TX22. Give him a good look if you want to catch up. And have some popcorn supplies laid in for when the prosecutors make their decision on Buckham.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 25, 2007 to Scandalized!

Thanks, Charles. I wondered about the TPM post, so hurried over here to get the full story. And here it is.

Posted by: David in NY on April 25, 2007 4:50 PM