"From Russia With Love (or Kickbacks?)"
So what were DeLay and Abramoff doing in Russia, having “fancy dinners” with Russian officials and energy execs? They’ve given plenty of reasons, but we’ll let you be the judge:
A) “DeLay’s staff said he…did work at each stop, meeting with former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, speaking to Scotland’s Conservative Caucus and pushing for religious freedom in Moscow.” (Washington Post, 3/3/05)
B) “The one-week trip was described on DeLay’s travel disclosure forms as a fact-finding mission.” (National Journal, 2/25/05)
C) “A publicist who works for Abramoff attorney Abbe David Lowell said Abramoff did lobby for Chelsea but not for Naftasib. The publicist said Abramoff thought ‘bringing a greater understanding of Russia to American decision makers was and is good for America.’” (Washington Post, 4/6/05)
Or could it be…
D) “[During the period DeLay and Abramoff traveled to Moscow,] prominent Russian businessmen, as well as the Russian government, depended heavily on a flow of billions of dollars in annual Western aid… Unlike some House conservatives who scorn such support as “corporate welfare,” DeLay proved to be a “yes” vote for institutions bolstering Russia in this period. For example, DeLay voted for a bill that included the replenishment of billions of dollars in IMF funds used to bail out the Russian economy in 1998.” (Washington Post, 4/6/05)