Politics

From Russia With Love (or Kickbacks?)

CREDIT:

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)