AP is reporting that Tom DeLay helped Jack Abramoff get access to Interior Secretary Gale Norton in an effort to prevent competing casinos from being built:
"Do you think you could call that friend and set up a meeting," then-DeLay staffer Tony Rudy wrote to fellow House aide Thomas Pyle in a Dec. 29, 2000, e-mail titled "Gale Norton-Interior Secretary." President Bush had nominated Norton to the post the day before.
...The assistance to Abramoff from DeLay's staff occurred just a few months after DeLay received political donations, free use of a skybox to reward donors and an all-expense paid trip to play golf in Scotland arranged by Abramoff and mostly underwritten by his clients.
DeLay's defense? He didn't know anything about it:
DeLay's lawyer said this week his client likely didn't know about the assistance his aides gave Abramoff five years ago and does not believe his office would ever provide government assistance in exchange for political donations. "On its face it's not unusual for staffers to assist people trying to get a meeting with an executive branch agency and that would be something a member of Congress would not typically be involved with. That's staff work," attorney Richard Cullen said in an interview.
"Tom DeLay conducts himself consistent with the highest standards of conduct and he mandated the same for his staff," Cullen said.
Shortly after the e-mail exchanges, the two DeLay aides, Rudy and Pyle, left DeLay's office for private sector jobs. Rudy went to work for Abramoff while Pyle went to work for the Koch pipeline company, Neither returned calls to their offices this week seeking comment.
DeLay is yet another member of the Republican part cult of non-responsibility.