If the partially quoted and linked article below is correct, it is a devastating indictment of John McCain. It would mean that he's covered up large volumes of evidence in the Jack Abramoff scandal much more so than has been generally publicized.
We knew it was bad. In fact, Abramoff has been tied to hits in Florida to gain control of offshore gambling ships. However, the sums involved and the widespread nature of the payoffs and the slimy sources makes one wonder how these people will escape damnation if they don't all repent and atone in earnest.
Now that the Democrats are chairing the committees, why hasn't the material been investigated by Democratic staff and made public? How much Democratic wrong-doing is tied in?
McCover-Up: Abramoff & the GOP Money Machine
Monday, 9 June 2008, 12:52 pm
The Crimes And Cover-Ups Of John McCain Part 3
Senator McCover-Up: Abramoff & the GOP Foreign Money Machine
By Mark G. Levey
I. Background: GOP Foreign Influence Peddling
Senator John McCain has proved to be Jack Abramoff's best friend.
As Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee from 2005-2007, McCain was instrumental in suppressing evidence of Jack Abramoff's role in directing illegal foreign payoffs to ranking members of the Republican Party.
McCain also did a big favor for Abramoff's principal partners in crime, Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed, identified in the 2006 Committee report as key players in the Choctaw Indian and Marianas Island scandals. Not one of the principal witnesses in the matter were compelled to publicly testify by McCain's panel. The Committee also sequestered 99 percent of the documents it received, and these remain locked away, unseen by the public, in Senate files.
But there's much more to the scandal than the Indian tribes rip-off McCain did disclose. The strand that runs through all the Abramoff-McCain relationship is foreign money – many, many millions – that Jack, Grover and Ralph funneled to GOP leaders from some of the world's worst bad guys as part of a foreign influence-peddling operation.
Until Jack was finally indicted on August 11, 2005, he did some truly sinister deals with a long list of bad guys, from al-Qaeda bankers, to Russian intelligence officers, to a South Asian leader involved with rogue nuclear programs. McCain's role was to limit the disclosures and the political damage that still threaten to destroy the GOP's foreign funding base and the party' hopes of ever regaining control in Washington.
This is Part 3 of a series, The Crimes and Coverups of John McCain, "Reformer". See, Part 2, "McCain's 30-Years of Service to Saudi Bank Raiders and Junk Bond Kings", Link; Pt 1, "McCain Had Key Role in Iraq WMD Deception", Link
II. Senator McCover-up: Why McCain Was Chosen by GOP Leadership to Oversee the Abramoff Investigation
By late 2005, it was becoming clear as the Justice Department started scratching the surface of Abamoff's influence-peddling network that its exposure was going to be politically explosive, and that it was going to blow up the Republicans. Details started coming out that showed the scandal was more sinister than the mere rip-off of Indian tribes by their Washington lobbyists. The Wall Street Journal, observed in article entitled, "Abramoff Scandal Threatens to Embroil GOP":
"The Justice Department's probe is far broader than previously thought . . . its focus on prominent Republicans raises the risk of serious embarrassment to the party before next year's congressional elections."
The Republican Congressional leadership recognized the problem. McCain was perfectly positioned to be the one to manage it. He had previously served as the Chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, and most importantly, he had some credibility as a "maverick" reformer and a track record of highly publicized enmity with one of the primary suspects as a base to build on. McCain's talent for damage-control was demonstrated early-on in his Senate career, when he survived his involvement in the Keating Savings & Loan scandal. (See, Pt. 2)
The inquiry initially had a limited mandate. The committee stated it would look into the exploitation of several American Indian tribes by Abramoff and a close circle of GOP lobbyists, including Michael Scanlon, Ralph Reed, and Grover Norquist. Amazingly, none were ever put on the stand under oath and publicly questioned by the Senate Committee. Norquist and Reed were never issued subpoenas to appear. Abramoff and Scanlon refused to testify after being subpoenaed. Link Chairman McCain settled without much apparent fuss on hearing from a few underlings.
That McCain's mission was primarily to contain political fallout and minimize damage to the GOP was never in doubt. Prior to hearings in 2005, Roll Call reported McCain "assured his colleagues that his expanding investigation into the activities of a former GOP lobbyist and a half-dozen of his tribal casino clients is not directed at revealing ethically questionable actions by Members of Congress." Paul Kane, Roll Call, "McCain Won't Target Members" ( March 9, 2005), Link When a batch of Abramoff e-mails were released in March, 2006, McCain's office redacted all the names of the members of Congress who had a "positive response" to Abramoff's lobbying. Link
While the Committee never heard from the principals in the case, what it did receive were their records. As Committee Chairman, John McCain made shrewd use of Senate rules to subpoena 750,000 pages of documents related to Abramoff's lobbying — literally tons of Abramoff scandal documents – billing records, memos, appointment calendars — keeping 99.7 percent of them out of the record, and buried the rest in locked files in the basement of the Hart Senate Office Building . Link
By withholding most of the evidence received in response to his broad subpoena, McCain managed to cover-up the larger picture of the political work Abramoff did for his clients, some of which was clearly contrary to the U.S. national interest. This has thwarted the efforts of investigators outside McCain's committee to independently examine the bulk of the record, which remains hidden.
However, it is completely consistent with McCain's role as a career cover-up specialist for the foreign influence-peddling and financial frauds of the Republican Party.