December 15th, 2005

Chris Keeley

Mr. Abramoff's voluminous e-mail traffic is at the heart of a growing Justice Department investigati

In Messages, Lobbyist Says DeLay Pressed for Donation </nyt_headline>

WASHINGTON, Dec. 14 - Newly disclosed e-mail messages from the lobbyist Jack Abramoff show that he told an Indian tribe client that he was being pressured by Representative Tom DeLay for a contribution for a $25,000-a-table Republican fund-raiser and that Mr. DeLay had personally phoned the lobbyist's office in search of the money.

The three-year-old messages suggest that the request was passed on to the tribe for payment within hours. They offer no evidence that Mr. DeLay, Republican of Texas, knew such a request for political money would be forwarded to Indian tribes and their gambling operations, and the messages from Mr. Abramoff's files suggest that he edited one e-mail message to exaggerate any contact with the lawmaker. Mr. DeLay's lawyer said Mr. DeLay never made the telephone call.

One e-mail message says that Mr. DeLay made an unusual personal call to Mr. Abramoff's office on July 17, 2002, to press for the contribution to the Republican fund-raiser, saying that he would call back and that he might see Mr. Abramoff that night at Signatures, a Washington restaurant that the lobbyist then owned.

 

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