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Abramoff Scandal
Former Burns staffer confirms investigation by DOJ


The former chief of staff to Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Montana) confirmed that he is under investigation by the Department of Justice for his ties to Jack Abramoff, bringing the probe of the disgraced lobbyist closer to the Montana senator.

Will Brooke told the Lee Newspapers State Bureau that DOJ is looking into a 2001 Super Bowl trip funded by Abramoff. “That whole trip has been the subject of investigation,’’ he said. Burns has repeatedly denied that he is under investigation although he has said he doesn't know whether he is or he isn't.

Brooke and Ryan Thomas, a Senate staffer who still works for Burns on the Senate Interior Appropriations subcommittee, went to Florida on Abramoff's dime. But Brooke says Abramoff told him the trip was funded by an unnamed tribe.

Brooke left Congress in 2003 to work for Abramoff at Greenberg Traurig. His clients included the Meskwaki Tribe of Iowa and the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Massachusetts, according to Senate documents[Lobbying Records].

Brooke has since left the firm and now works for Ryan, Phillips, Utrecht & MacKinnon. His clients have included the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians in Michigan and Cook Inlet Regional Corporation, an Alaska Native regional corporation [Lobbying Records].

Get the Story:
Super Bowl trip included in lobbyist probe (The Helena Independent Record 1/18)
Burns downplays alleged link to Abramoff (The Bozeman Chronicle 1/17)
Sen. Burns fires back (The Missoulian 1/17)

Relevant Links:
Sen. Conrad Burns - http://burns.senate.gov
Montana Republican Party - http://www.mtgop.org
Montana Democratic Party - http://www.montanademocrats.org

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