WASHINGTON: The Senate Indian Affairs Committee is planning to issue a second subpoena for Michael Scanlon, head of PR firm Capitol Campaign Strategies, on allegations that he improperly took $66 million in fees from six American Indian tribes in the past three years.
Tribal leaders began complaining in February that they had seen little return on the large fees they paid Scanlon and GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The two allegedly promised increased casino riches for the tribes in return for fees that placed them among the country's top spenders on K Street.
Scanlon, a former aide to Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX), failed to appear for a September 28 hearing on Capitol Hill, where members of Congress accused him of dodging a subpoena. According to Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-CO), the second subpoena, if ignored, will lead to con- tempt of Congress charges.
The hearing included the release of e-mails between Scanlon and Abramoff, who was present, in which the two used a slew of derogatory comments referring to their Indian clients. Abramoff pleaded the Fifth rather than answer questions related to the e-mails.
In addition to the fees, Scanlon and Abramoff reportedly advised the Indian clients to donate millions to GOP-friendly think tanks and Republican candidates.
Abramoff resigned from his previous firm, Greenberg Traurig, in March. The firm's lobbying fees have dropped more than 90% since his departure, according to public disclosure records.
Scanlon has not commented publicly on the matter, but Campbell insisted that the PR exec had intentionally avoided the subpoena. "He just dodged. I don't care what his lawyers say," he said during the hearing.