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Senate panel calls Abramoff connections with Delay aide 'astonishing'

[JURIST] The US Senate Indian Affairs Committee [official website] led by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) [official website] released its final report [PDF text; additional materials] Thursday, saying that the connections between former lobbyist Jack Abramoff [JURIST news archive] and former Tom Delay aide Michael Scanlon [Wikipedia backgrounder] in a scandal collecting millions of dollars from Indian tribes were "astonishing." The report added that tribes should beef up their own election laws and contracting rules to prevent further exploitation, but concluded that existing laws will be sufficient to deal with the fraud allegations against the two.

The Senate report brings to a close a two-year investigation into Abramoff's lobbying practices, and evidence gathered by the panel contributed to Abramoff and Scanlon [JURIST reports] both pleading guilty in a massive fraud probe. Abramoff and Scanlon took over $60 million from tribes over three years while they claimed to help the tribes protect their casino interests. AP has more.

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