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McCain's Man, The Rebel and Abramoff

POSTED: 01:08 PM ET, 05/22/2008 by Derek Kravitz

Charles
Charles R. Black Jr., a key lobbyist for presidential candidate John McCain, has ties to a brutal Angolan guerrilla leader (Washington Post).

John McCain's man in Washington, lobbyist Charles R. Black Jr., has ties to a brutal Angolan guerrilla leader, as The Post reports today, but he's not the only Washington political power player with links to Jonas Savimbi.

The Post's Michael D. Shear and Jeffrey H. Birnbaum report today that Black, now 60, received millions in the 1980s from Savimbi, the Angolan leader who had U.S. support but was later found to have ordered the murders of his movement's representative to the United States and that man's relatives.

And well-known Washington uberlobbyist Jack Abramoff also called Savimbi a client at the time.

Abramoff, the disgraced former lobbyist who is now spending his days in a federal prison in Maryland, was once hired to organize a "convention" with Savimbi and other anticommunist guerrillas from Laos, Nicaragua and Afghanistan in a remote part of Angola.

Abramoff was working at the time for Citizens for America, a conservative grass-roots group founded by drugstore magnate Lewis E. Lehrman. He was later fired over a dispute about the handling of the group's $3 million budget.

Abramoff is now helping prosecutors in connection with a string of investigations into wrongdoing by lawmakers and aides and is awaiting sentencing on separate charges of mail fraud, conspiracy and tax evasion.

-- Derek Kravitz

By Derek Kravitz |  May 22, 2008; 1:08 PM ET Abramoff Scandal
Previous: District Embezzlement Case Widens | Next: Rove Subpoenaed in Continuing House Probe

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