Abramoff Scandal | Law

Freedmen attorney claims Abramoff influenced BIA position





Convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff influenced the Bush administration to reverse its stance on a Cherokee Nation election in which the Freedmen weren't allowed to vote, an attorney for the Freedmen claims.

The tribe's economic development arm hired Greenberg Traurig, where Abramoff was employed, to lobby on governmental matters in 2003. Around the same time, the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Eastern Oklahoma was prepared to reject the results of the disputed election.

But BIA officials in Washington, D.C., went a different way. Attorney Jon Velie, who represents the Freedmen, believes Abramoff had something to do with it.

When news reports linked Abramoff to the Cherokee Nation, a spokesperson said Abramoff didn't actually do any lobbying work for the tribe. At least two of his associates reportedly performed the work.

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