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Burns denies wrongdoing for helping Abramoff client

Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Montana) denied any wrongdoing when he secured a $3 million appropriation for a wealthy client of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

As chairman of the Interior Appropriations subcommittee, Burns allowed the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Michigan to participate in a school construction program even through federal officials said the tribe didn't qualify. The program was meant for poorer tribes.

Burns sent a letter to the Senate Select Committee on Ethics saying he followed procedure. According to the Associated Press, he said the federal government has a responsibility to uphold agreements with all tribes regardless of financial status but the AP did not elaborate on what Burns meant by agreement.

Get the Story:
Sen. Burns responds to call for inquiry (AP 3/24)

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