National Journal's Hotline - Montana 4-27-06
MONTANA: Innocent Until Proven You've Hired An Atty more
Sen. Conrad Burns (R) said 4/26 he doesn't know yet how he'll pay for Ralph Caccia, the DC-based white-collar criminal atty he's hired. Caccia previously represented Monica Lewinsky when she testified in Bill Clinton's perjury investigation. Burns spokesperson Jason Klindt said 4/26 that Burns may choose to have his campaign pay the bill "due to the partisan nature of it," reffering to the Dem attempts to link him with Jack Abramoff.
Dems said Burns' hiring of an atty proves he's more involved in the DoJ's investigation than he's previously let on, though the DoJ won't say which Cong. members are being investigated. MT Dem spokesperson Matt McKenna: "If Burns really believed he'd done nothing wrong and this was all 'just politics,' he wouldn't have one of the best white-collar crime lawyers money can buy."
Burns ex-aide Shawn Vasell, "who left Burns' office to work for Abramoff, has also hired a criminal defense" atty. Vasell worked for Abramoff just prior to working for Burns, then left Burns after a year to return to Abramoff (McKee, Billings Gazette, 4/27).