"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Hell Hath No Fury 

If this is true, it's absolutely hilarious: Raw Story is reporting that the whole Abramoff/Scanlon affair came to light because Scanlon's ex-fiancé dropped a dime:
Michael Scanlon found himself at the center of one of the biggest political scandals in Washington history as a result of cheating and lying—but not the type involving the numerous clients he was paid to lobby Congress for, former coworkers and friends of his ex-fiance say.

Scanlon was implicated in the Abramoff scandal by his former thirtysomething fiance, Emily J. Miller, whom he met in the late 1990s while working as communications director for former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), three former associates who worked with Scanlon at DeLay’s office said. Colleagues say Miller went to the FBI after Scanlon broke off their engagement and announced his intention to marry another woman.

Miller was Tom DeLay's press secretary, before she experienced her own moment of notoriety while working at the State Department:
In May 2004, Miller found herself at the center of attention when—while live on air—she ordered a cameraman for NBC’s Meet the Press to stop filming Colin Powell. A copy of the transcript shows Miller, who also used to work as an NBC staffer, as a brusque press aide. Powell eventually ordered that the interview continue and asked Miller to step aside.

What many people didn’t realize at the time, however, is that during the Powell interview Miller was upset because her fiance, Michael Scanlon, had broken off their engagement, two of Miller’s former State Department co-workers said. While still engaged to Miller, Scanlon had started an affair with a manicurist and broke up with Miller because he planned to marry the other woman, three of Scanlon’s former associates at DeLay’s office said. They added that the two had numerous public arguments.

But Miller had something on Scanlon. He confided in her all of his dealings with Abramoff, former colleagues said. She saw his emails and knew the intimate details of his lobbying work—work which is now the center of a criminal fraud investigation. After the breakup, Miller went to the FBI and told them everything about Scanlon’s dealings with Abramoff, her coworkers added.

In turning him in, she became the agency’s star witness against her former lover. Scanlon pled guilty in November and is cooperating with prosecutors; Abramoff reached a plea agreement today.

That's so sweet. Who doesn't enjoy a good love story - especially one with a happy ending?

By the way, if your not entirely ready to trust Raw Story with a scoop like this - or if you simply lack the desire to wallow in the sleazy details, preferring instead to consider trenchant analysis from well-respected journalistic icons such as the Washington Post - you should probably look at this discussion of the Abramoff money pit from last Saturday. It's quite well done, and I'm sure I would be finishing it right now if I wasn't so keen to be digging up more dirt about Scanlon and Miller. It's what I do instead of watching Wife Swap or Dr. Phil.




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