Report: Former Interior official to plead guilty in Abramoff probe

But seriously, why would anyone think that White House officials wouldn't tell the truth to Congress?

Published March 23, 2007 2:29PM (EDT)

The next time Tony Snow says that everybody knows that administration officials will give Congress all the facts it needs about the prosecutor purge, we hope somebody will remind him of this: The Associated Press is reporting that Steven Griles, the president's former No. 2 man at the Interior Department, is set to plead guilty to lying five times to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and its investigators about his relationship with Jack Abramoff.

Griles' name may not be a household word, but that doesn't mean he wasn't a player in the Bush administration. As the AP notes, Griles was part of the president's transition team; was effectively the Interior Department's chief operating officer; served as the department's top representative on Dick Cheney's energy task force; and lives with Sue Ellen Wooldridge, who was, until recently, an assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department's environmental division. As the AP has reported previously, Wooldridge bought a vacation home last year with Griles and the top Washington lobbyist for ConocoPhillips -- then signed an agreement giving the oil company more time to deal with pollution at some of its facilities.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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