Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Shocked. Just shocked.

Lobbyist Jack Abramoff gave expensive gifts to key members of then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay's staff, which the aides accepted in apparent violation of House ethics rules, according to two sources who worked at Abramoff's law firm at the time Abramoff made the gifts. The gifts included high-end golf equipment, tickets to sporting events and concerts and, in the case of one high-ranking DeLay staff member, a weekend getaway paid for by Abramoff's own frequent flyer and hotel points, two sources who had direct knowledge of the transactions tell TIME.

The two sources say that one recipient of the gifts, including the weekend trip and expensive golf clubs, was Tony C. Rudy, who worked for DeLay for five years and served at various times as DeLay's press secretary, policy director, general counsel and deputy chief of staff when DeLay was House Majority Whip. When Rudy left DeLay's office in 2002, he joined Abramoff at Greenberg Traurig, the firm that hired Abramoff in December 2000. Rudy now works at Alexander Strategy Group, a lobbying firm headed by former DeLay Chief of Staff Ed Buckham.