Speaking of friends in high
crimes places, Rolling Stone reminds us of the Abramoff-Rove connection:
In 2001, Karl Rove needed a Gal Friday, someone to help oversee the "strategic planning, political affairs, public liaison, and intergovernmental affairs efforts of the White House." He chose Susan Ralston, who came highly recommended from a friend: Jack Abramoff. Ralston performed similar duties for the Don of K Street -- that is until Abramoff realized she'd be far more useful embedded in the West Wing. (Ralston had also previous worked for Abramoff and Rove's fellow College Republican crony Ralph Reed.)
Installing his top assistant as Rove's gatekeeper appeared to pay dividends. In 2003, Abramoff was hired by scandal-ridden Tyco to help the corporation secure lucrative federal contracts despite its being incorporated -- for tax-evasion purposes -- in Bermuda. According to the Washington Post, Abramoff later bragged that he'd been able to lobby Rove directly on the issue. The article targets Ralston as the only likely conduit.