The conservative House Freedom Caucus is considering hiring a former Tom DeLay aide who was a figure in a 2005 Washington lobbying corruption scandal, Politico reports.
Ed Buckham, DeLay's former chief of staff, interviewed to be the group's executive director — and is a front-runner for the spot, Politico reports, citing unnamed sources.
A spokesman for the chairman of the Freedom Caucus, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, said interviews were underway for the position but declined to provide specifics.
The group's former executive director Steve Chartan left to work as legislative director to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Politico reports.
"We're very close," DeLay tells Politico about his relationship with Buckham. "To be honest with you, it would be the smartest thing the Freedom Caucus could do. He's saved my career many times."
Buckham's son Matt is the communications director for the Freedom Caucus, Politico reports.
Buckham's former lobbying firm, Alexander Strategies Group, represented powerful corporations and trade associations that wanted access to DeLay and other top House Republicans, Politico reports.
The firm folded in the wake of a Justice Department investigation of Jack Abramoff, a confidant of DeLay and Buckram who spent more than three-and-a-half years in federal prison after pleading guilty to a variety of federal charges, including fraud, conspiracy to bribe public officials and tax evasion.
Abramoff said he and Buckham "were very close," but that he hadn't spoken to him in years, Politico reports.
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