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Davis and Waxman initially were told that their document request to Greenberg Traurig was too broad. The firm said it would have to turn over more than 2 million pages of documents to comply with the Government Reform request, according to a March 2 letter from the panel to Downey.
Greenberg Traurig also was concerned about the attorney-client privilege it has with its clients, including a number of Indian tribes that Abramoff and his business partners ripped off for tens of millions of dollars.
In response to those concerns, Government Reform agreed to issue a subpoena to Greenberg Traurig. “As a result of our discussions, we concluded that issuance of a subpoena would be appropriate to permit you to satisfy your professional obligations with respect to the requested documents,” Davis and Waxman wrote in a May 2 letter to Downey.
Davis and Waxman also noted that “the subpoena is not intended to suggest in any way that you or your client is not cooperating with the Committee’s inquiry.”
Greenberg Traurig was given until June 2 to comply with the subpoena, and sources close to the probe said it did.
Downey did not return a call or e-mail message seeking comment for this article.
The Senate Indian Affairs Committee, which conducted its own probe into the Abramoff scandal during 2004-05, also subpoenaed Greenberg Traurig as part of its investigation, and the firm provided thousands of e-mails and other documents to the panel, chaired by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Greenberg Traurig has not been charged with any wrongdoing by the Justice Department, although it did shell out millions in compensory payments to the Indian tribes harmed by Abramoff’s activities, as well as those of his former business partner, Michael Scanlon.