Aide to former House Republican leader indicted in Abramoff case

August 21, 2009

An aide to former U.S. House Majority Leader Richard Armey was indicted on corruption charges in connection with disgraced U.S. lobbyist Jack Abramoff, including taking free sports tickets and helping  his clients with a government contract.

Horace Cooper, who served as a legislative counsel to Armey, was charged with conspiracy, concealing his actions, making false statements and obstruction of justice, according to the indictment filed in U.S. district court.

Prosecutors accused the legislative aide of receiving valuable tickets to events like Washington Redskins football games and concerts including rock singer Bruce Springsteen between 1998 and 2000, when Cooper worked for Armey.

CRIME ABRAMOFFCooper knew that Abramoff, his firm and their clients “had numerous issues pending before the U.S. House of Representatives,” the indictment said.

In 2001, when Cooper became chief of staff at the Voice of America, which is a U.S. government-run news outlet, he is accused of telling Abramoff to let him know if he can be helpful to his firm.

Abramoff told staff at the restaurant he controlled, Signatures, to provide Cooper with complimentary meals and drinks and arranged for a free Super Bowl party for him and 25 of his friends at another Abramoff restaurant called Stacks, the indictment said.

The indictment accused Cooper of helping Abramoff and an associate in 2002 in their efforts to participate in a VOA broadcasting project and obtaining $10 million-$15 million in funding from the State Department.

At one point during that time, Cooper complained to Abramoff that he was charged $141 at the Signatures restaurant, telling him that “I think there may have been a little glitch at the restaurant.”

After leaving VOA for the Labor Department during the Bush administration, Cooper worked to help an Abramoff client, CNMI Garment Manufacturer, deal with a pending investigation by the agency, prosecutors charged.

During that period, Cooper also solicited from Abramoff tickets to numerous events including professional basketball and baseball games.

An attempt to reach Cooper was not immediately successful.  He could face up to 40 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Abramoff was sentenced in 2008 to serve four years in prison in a corruption scandal that rocked Washington’s power elite and helped Republicans lose control of Congress in 2006. He already is serving a nearly six-year term on unrelated charges.

Click here for more Reuters political coverage.

- Photo credit: Reuters/Carlos Barria (Abramoff outside a courthouse)

3 comments

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Another one bites the dust. Is this supposed to be a surprise? The republicans are so corrupt that it reaches clear into the last administrations republican controlled white house. Everyone needs to remember who killed our ecconimy and screwed up the system so bad that there has been 81 bank crashes in 2009 just up till today. If you want more lies and all for the rich like we were subject to for 8 years go ahead and vote the swines back into office. The republican party preach that they are the party of small government and small spenders. What a huge lie. Bush and his hord spent money so fast it couldn’t be printed quick eneough. We are deep in dept to communist China all at the hands of the republican thieves. I don’t realy trust eighter party -but- looking back at the last 8 years of almost total republican control tells me all I need to know about who I trust the least. I trust the republicans to fleece the working families as quickly and as deeply as possable like the last administration. They raped the country of everything they could loot from the working class and I am sure that is the plan of the future if we all forget the past. Every time that someone brings up the screwing we got form the Bushies the talking heads throw up their hands and start yelling that was the past and all they want to talk about is the future and cast blame on the Obama anministration for what they inflicted upon the great people of this nation. They don’t want us to remember or they will loose as badly at the polls as they did during the last elections. So don’t listen to their hipe and excuses and fall for their need for us to forget the past or be ready for more of the same robbers to reappear and pick up where they left off looting our econimy for the rich and well placed and screwing of the American people. Thank you and good luck to us all.

The only thing I can say critical of “infohunter’s” opinion is that he is being too kind. Although the Dems are only a wee bit better they are better. Thanks to our lobby influenced Government, we have fewer and fewer chances to better ourselves. Unless, of course we aquire the wherewithal to make enormous political contributions to help us screw our fellow citizens. Robbing a bank may be illegal,,, but it’s far from immoral! It’s just turnabout.

Posted by RH Pyle | Report as abusive

Statements from Obama surrogates like infohunter trying highlight corruption accusations against isolated republicans ,when we are seeing an epidemic of corruption entrench the democratic party both nationally and nationally, enhances the mistrust that average americans have against the democrats having the integrity to oversee a huge spending expansion like the proposed national health plan.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive