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Abramoff070323_Griles

The former number-two official at the Interior Department under Gale Norton pleaded guilty today to lying to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee about his ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff; a tie with a romantic knot. The link between the former Deputy Secretary of the Interior, J. Steven Griles, 59, and Abramoff was Italia Federici, the head of a Italia_Federiciconservative nonprofit called the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, or CREA.
Abramoff is said to have funneled around $500,000 to her organization in exchange for access to Norton, a co-founder of CREA, and Griles, Federici’s  then paramour.

Salon has a story about Italia here.

Washington Post story here.

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Courtartist is me, Art Lien. I've been sketching the courts since 1976, and for most of that time the U.S. Supreme Court has been my regular beat. I've been working almost exclusively for NBC News since 1980. Courtroom sketching is a form of visual journalism or reportage drawing that is slowly dying out. Where once upon a time news organization each had their own artist covering a story, today a "pool" artist often sketches for all. It is a demanding and stressful discipline where the drawing is often done directly and under tight deadline.

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