Jack Abramoff, the disgraced lobbyist whose influence-peddling landed him in prison, blasted “laughable” congressional Republicans for undoing the independent ethics watchdog his crimes inspired.
Abramoff, who has become an outspoken critic of the lobbying industry since his release from prison in 2010, said House Republicans had ignored the will of the voters by undermining the Office of Congressional Ethics, reported Politico.
“President-elect Trump has called for reform, and made specific proposals to reduce corruption in Washington,” Abramoff told the website. “Congress should take his lead and offer real reform, not rip off the bandage of the OCE. I guess some people in Washington still don’t get what happened in November.”
House Republicans voted Monday to place the panel under their control, limit its powers and stop it from reporting investigations to the public.
“While there seems to be little question that some of the procedures of the Office of Congressional Ethics can and probably have created collateral political problems for innocent members of Congress, moving to diminish oversight is exactly the opposite of what Congress should be doing,” Abramoff said.
Abramoff, whose scheme resulted in the criminal convictions of Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) and 20 others, took a shot at Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), who said he proposed the changes to “improve upon due process for individuals under investigation.”
“When did Congress last concern itself with due process for individuals under investigation that aren’t members of Congress?” Abramoff told Politico. “Take it from me, they don’t!”