Who visited Jack Abramoff in Cumberland prison? We’ve FOIAed to find out
In his book Capitol Punishment: The Hard Truth about Washington Corruption from America's Most Notorious Lobbyist, Jack Abramoff notes that while serving his sentence for mail fraud and conspiracy in a federal prison in Cumberland, Md., he was fortunate that "some intrepid public officials [made] the trek to Cumberland, including Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, his wife Rhonda, and their adorable triplets…"
In an interview with The Hill, Abramoff was cagey on the subject of whether other members of Congress made similar treks: "I'm not saying they have or they haven't," he told the publication, adding that Rohrabacher is the "only one who said I could mention him… I want to respect the requests of people who would prefer I not talk about it."
We figured it was worth the effort to use the Bureau of Prisons' online Freedom of Information Act request form to see if we could get visitor logs for the former lobbyist who now bills himself as being interested in reforming the nexus of money, influence and power in Washington.
According to the Bureau of Prisons guidelines, vistors must show a photo ID, sign a visitor log, and have their name matched against the inmate's list of approved visitors. Today, we FOIAed for Abramoff's list of approved visitors, the visitor logs showing who came and when, and any correspondence from potential visitors with prison officials. (In some cases, special arrangements have to be made to visit inmates, particularly if the meeting concerns a business matter–inmates are not allowed to conduct business except in unusual circumstances, and they need the permission of their warden to do so.)
We'll keep you posted on what response we get.