“Actually, the sugery [sic] was the high point of the week! :)” Abramoff wrote in an e-mail to HOH on Thursday. (Yes, he is an avid e-mailer.) “It was knee surgery and I am home and groggy.”
Abramoff apparently played racquetball all the time with colleagues Michael Scanlon, who has pleaded guilty in the bribery scandal, and Tony Rudy, Rep. Tom DeLay’s (R-Texas) former chief of staff, who is also fingered in the plea deal. He even once played with another target of the federal probe, Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio) — but just once, since Abramoff apparently beat Ney so badly neither wanted to repeat the experience, or so the story goes.
The surgery on his left knee followed surgery on his other knee back in August, the week before he was arrested in Los Angeles and thrown in the slammer. Both surgeries were a result of damage to the knees from racquetball, a passion that, like wining and dining and jet-setting with Members of Congress, came with a price.
That passion was captured in one of Abramoff’s more colorful e-mails to Scanlon in which he wrote: “I love this bitch talk you punk ass bitch. As soon as I get yo ass on court, you be crying like a baby!”
It’s Washington. Eyebrows were raised last month at just how cozy things were at the Justice Department’s Christmas party. Most notably, between Alice Fisher, the newly installed head of the Criminal Division, and her old buddy Barbara Comstock, a strategic public relations and lobbying consultant who represents two of the biggest Republican fish caught up in the corruption scandals engulfing Washington.
Comstock, a lobbyist at the Blank Rome Government Relations firm, represents indicted ex-veep Chief of Staff Scooter Libby, as well as DeLay, who’s already been indicted in Texas and is treading choppy waters in the Congressional bribery scandal. Her longtime close friend Fisher, well, she has the ultimate say over which public officials are gonna get fried.
According to partygoers, the DOJ Christmas party was like a fish fry, with Comstock almost (though, come on, not really) like a PETA activist fighting to spare the lives of the Libbyfish and DeLayfish. One attendee described the party as “Lobbyist City” and said Comstock was “very conspicuous, buzzing around Alice.” The term “nauseating” was also used to describe Comstock’s palling around with the Criminal Division chief.
Comstock declined to comment. But her former colleague at Justice Mark Corallo did a heckuva job speaking for her.