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DeLay inquiry stalled amid ethics panel brouhaha

The inquiry into House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) and his ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff faces a lengthy delay due to a partisan spat over the House ethics panel.

Republicans and Democrats have been fighting for months over the make-up of the panel and how it is works. The latest dispute stems over a decision by Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Washington), the chairman of the committee, to name his chief of staff, Ed Cassidy, as a co-director, something Democrats oppose.

Hastings has ties to Abramoff's old law firm, according to news reports. His staff has numerous conversations with the Preston Gates & Ellis firm but Hastings never talked with Abramoff, Cassidy said.

"The DeLay inquiry has already been held up over Hastings' insistence on appointing Cassidy to be the committee's staff manager -- itself in apparent conflict with ethics rules," The Seattle Post-Intelligencer says in an editorial. "The ethical thing for Hastings is to step back and turn the DeLay investigation over to a congressionally appointed special prosecutor."

Get the Story:
House Ethics Standstill Stalls DeLay Decision (The Washington Post 6/9)
Ethics panel chair linked to lobby firm (The Houston Chronicle 6/9)
Editorial: Hastings Connection: Too close for comfort (The Seattle Post-Intelligencer 6/9)
Lawmaker has own ties to lobbyist (AP 6/8)

Related Stories:
Tom Cole recuses himself in any probe of DeLay (05/05)
DeLay faces ethics inquiry over ties to Abramoff (04/29)
McCain won't touch lawmakers in probe of Abramoff (4/28)
More ties between Abramoff and DeLay detailed (4/27)
Former DeLay chief of staff lobbied for NIGA (4/26)
More ties between Abramoff and DeLay detailed (4/27)
Former DeLay chief of staff lobbied for NIGA (4/26)
DeLay used skybox funded by Abramoff's tribes (4/21)
House Republicans offer ethics probe into DeLay (4/21)
DeLay denies wrongdoing over Abramoff funded trips (4/19)
DeLay's ties to Abramoff a focus of federal probe (4/13)
Opinion: Abramoff is DeLay's Monica Lewinsky (4/13)
Newsweek: Abramoff offered to expose DeLay, others (4/11)
Assessment: The Abramoff/DeLay scandal (4/8)
Salon: Abramoff sold DeLay to desperate tribes (4/8) Opinion: When ripping off Indians is acceptable (4/8)
GOP rallies to DeLay's defense amid new reports (4/7)
GOP letter to Norton came after Abramoff sent checks (03/30)
Coushatta Tribe hires law firm linked to DeLay (3/18)
DeLay denies wrongdoing on trip linked to tribe (3/16)
Hayworth predicts DeLay will weather ethics storm (3/15)
Tribe, gambling firm funded DeLay's overseas trip (3/14)
DeLay rebuked yet again for flaunting influence (10/7)
DeLay rebuked for trading influence on House floor (10/1)