WASHINGTON, June 22, 2006 — -- The Senate Indian Affairs Committee released its final report today, and officially closed the Senate investigation into Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon's lobbying deals with American Indian tribes.
The committee was one of the first groups to publicly expose Abramoff's fraudulent lobbying deals with the Indian tribes, and the hearings spurred the Justice Department to open an investigation into Abramoff's lobbying contracts. The Justice Department investigations into Abramoff-related cases remain ongoing.
The report by the committee, which is chaired by Rep. John McCain, said the existing laws related to the investigation were sufficient and members were satisfied with how the Justice Department was handling the probe.
However, the committee offered advice for the tribe members scattered throughout the hearing room. The members recommended tribes across the country strengthen their election laws and contracting rules to prevent corruption from lobbyists such as Abramoff.
By continuously contributing evidence throughout the Abramoff investigations, the Senate committee played a large role in prosecutors' investigations into Abramoff and three former Republican congressional staffers. All four men pleaded guilty and are awaiting jail time.
Two of the three staffers who pleaded guilty to corruption charges worked for former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. DeLay resigned from Congress last month but has not been charged in the probe and claims he has done nothing wrong.
Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, watched his former chief of staff plead guilty to corruption charges last month. Ney's name is mentioned throughout the 373-page report, but Ney spokesman Brian Walsh told ABC on Tuesday, "...the congressman reiterates that he has never engaged in any improper, unethical or illegal activity. He is confident that the lies and deception of Jack Abramoff will continue to be exposed and that he will be vindicated when all of the facts are presented."