Advertise:   712.224.5420

Abramoff Scandal
Norton defends Griles amid Abramoff concerns

Former Interior Secretary Gale Norton is defending her former deputy, J. Steven Griles, amid questions about his ties to Jack Abramoff.

Norton said there is no proof Griles did anything at Abramoff's request. But a report released by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee cited dozens of e-mails that suggest Griles may have tried to make decisions on matters affecting Abramoff's tribal clients.

"I was in a position to see whether Steve influenced any decisions to favor Abramoff - and I did not see Steve take any step in that direction," Norton wrote in an e-mail to The Denver Rocky Mountain News. "More broadly, Steve did not play any significant role in Indian gaming decisions."

The Senate committee said it couldn't come to a conclusion about Griles but said it was troubled about conflicting accounts given by Norton's former legal counselor.

Get the Story:
Norton defends former aide (The Denver Rocky Mountain News 6/26)

Senate Indian Affairs Committee Abramoff Report:

Pre-2001 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | Undated | Finance

Interior Department Profile:
Deputy Secretary: J. Steven Griles (March 9, 2001)

Related Stories:
Wayne Smith fingers Griles as Abramoff 'point man' (6/22)
Abramoff White House visit coincides with Griles meeting (05/11)
White House warns of partial Abramoff records (05/03)
Editorial: Release all Abramoff White House records (05/03)
White House to release logs of Abramoff visits (05/02)
Norton denies Abramoff played a role in resignation (03/13)
Abramoff accuses McCain of personal vendetta (03/09)
Abramoff boasted of contacts with White House (02/14)
Abramoff tried to exploit tribes for Washington project (02/13)
Abramoff bragged of meeting Bush many times (02/10)
Griles trying hard to avoid Abramoff indictment (02/08)
Griles arranged for Norton photo with Abramoff (01/30)
Bush says photos with Abramoff not 'relevant' to probe (01/27)
Abramoff says he won't release photos with Bush (01/27)
White House won't release Bush-Abramoff photos (01/24)
McCain blames both parties for 'out of control' lobbying (01/23)
Abramoff not in NIGA's camp but lobbyist came close (01/19)
White House pressed on contacts with Abramoff (01/18)
Abramoff scandal high on agenda at gaming conference (01/12)
Griles denies doing favors for Abramoff, tribes (01/09)
In the Loop: Griles attended DOI's Christmas party (12/16)
Norton refutes alleged influence of Abramoff (12/15)
Watchdog group sues DOI over Abramoff documents (12/07)
McCain expects 'lots' of indictments in Abramoff case (12/05)
Dorgan vows to continue Abramoff lobbying probe (11/29)
Griles intervened in Coushatta leadership dispute (11/29)
Inside the BIA, according to Jack Abramoff (11/23)
Plea deal cites members of Congress and another tribe (11/22)
Scanlon free after guilty plea in tribal lobbying scheme (11/22)
Charges laid against Scanlon in tribal lobbying probe (11/21)
Senate committee to continue Abramoff investigation (11/18)
Salon: Italia Federici a 'minor' Republican player (11/18)
Campbell denies relationship with Italia Federici (11/18)
Audio: Italia Federici testifies before Senate panel (11/17)
Opinion: Something creepy about Federici's CREA (11/16)
Opinion: Griles' role in lobbying scandal still a mystery (11/14)
C-SPAN Moment: Putting the screws to Steve Griles (11/11)
Senate panel sets hearing for Italia Federici (11/09)
Column: Where in the world is Italia Federici? (11/07)
Editorial: Steve Griles and the revolving door (11/04)
Griles, Rossetti to testify on Coushatta Tribe (11/02)
Griles called to testify on Abramoff scandal (11/01)
Norton associate to testify at Abramoff hearing (10/28)
Interior drawn into Senate committee's lobbying probe (10/26)
Abramoff tried to hire Griles at lobbying firm (08/29)
Gaming leads to new concerns about lobbyists (05/26)
Meskwakis gave $50K to group founded by Norton (04/22)
Griles fought casino opposed by Abramoff's clients (03/14)
Tribe gave $75K to group founded by Norton (03/14)
DOI investigates contacts with group started by Norton (03/03)
Report: Former Norton organization subpoenaed (3/1)
Tribes gave $175K to group founded by Norton (2/28)