The lobbyist feared information in the document could be damaging to his clients’ interests, the inspector general said, and he used his knowledge of its contents to warn them and to devise a counterattack.
‘Abramoff’s e-mail records indicate that by late June 2002 he had obtained a copy of the report from an official of the Department of Interior,’ the report said.
The leak has been referred to the FBI and the Interior Department’s inspector general for further investigation.
Abramoff earlier this year pleaded guilty to corruption charges, including conspiracy to bribe public officials and failure to pay taxes. He is cooperating in an investigation that has resulted in guilty pleas from top legislative aides and Abramoff’s lobbying partners.
The revelation that Abramoff had obtained the secret document was just one finding in the 41-page report into allegations that he had improperly influenced President Bush’s 2002 decision to oust the acting U.S. attorney for Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, Frederick A. Black.