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Doolittle Ex-Aide Indicted

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At the same time, Ring sent e-mails to Abramoff indicating Doolittle’s interest in finding a job for his wife. According to the indictment, in March 2002, while the tribal money was pending, “defendant Ring emailed Abramoff, writing that he had met with [Doolittle] who had asked about the work that Abramoff was to get for [Doolittle’s] wife.”

The indictment quotes e-mails from Abramoff to the consultant working with his nonprofit, the Capital Athletic Foundation, asking that the organization find work for Doolittle’s wife but emphasizing that, “I am not sure what role she should play and it does not have to be significant. ... I don’t want her to have to do too much, though, since she has responsibilities at home as a mother and wife.”

The indictment also alleges that Ring sent an e-mail to a Congressional staffer in April 2000 stating that Doolittle “had agreed to talk to the Chairman of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure” about appropriations projects for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a large Abramoff client. Shuster was the chairman of the committee at the time.

Barger, Doolittle’s lawyer, wrote that, “It is clear that portions of the Kevin Ring Indictment were designed to make gratuitous references to the Congressman and his wife. This appears to have been done to titillate the public, with the foreseeable and therefore intended consequence of attempting to embarrass and pressure the Congressman.”

The indictment also recounts “team Abramoff’s” gifts to Istook and former Chief of Staff John Albaugh. Albaugh pleaded guilty in June to one count of conspiracy for performing “official acts” in exchange for a stream of gifts.

According to the Ring indictment, Istook attended concerts with Ring and failed to reimburse Abramoff for fundraisers the lobbyists held for his campaign.

Istook has said that he is cooperating with the FBI and has been told that he is not a target of the investigation.

Correction: Sept. 9, 2008

The article incorrectly stated that Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) was chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee at the time that Rep. John Doolittle (R-Calif.) is alleged to have spoken to the committee chairman on behalf of Jack Abramoff in April 2000. Rep. Young did not take over the Transportation Committee until 2001; the chairman in April 2000 was Rep. Bud Shuster (R-Pa.).

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