• U.S.

Ahead of the Story

1 minute read
James Kelly

For months, Karen Tumulty has been telling TIME readers that the Jack Abramoff scandal would be big, and the disgraced lobbyist’s plea bargain last week has been the loudest thunderclap so far in what promises to be an electrifying spectacle of corruption. Karen, a star journalist in our Washington bureau, covered the Democratic Party scandals on the Hill 15 years ago. “So I knew that when you start seeing little signs of trouble—a few admonishments from the ethics committee, a gift or a trip that a Congressman shouldn’t have taken—you start looking for a pattern. We were the first to reveal aspects of the crucial role that Ed Buckham (Tom DeLay’s former chief of staff and pastor) played hooking up Abramoff with Tom DeLay’s office. We found out that, in arranging a questionable junket to London, DeLay staff members were demanding that Abramoff produce Lion King tickets, rooms at the Four Seasons and other lavish accommodations. And—with e-mails obtained by my colleague Adam Zagorin—we showed that Ralph Reed was helping Abramoff gain access at the White House.”

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