'Iron Lady' Talks in 'Hammer' Probe
Tom Delay, the indicted House GOP leader, is known as "The Hammer." Margaret Thatcher was "The Iron Lady." So it may come as no surprise that these tough-talking conservative leaders had a meeting in May 2000.
But U.S. authorities now want their British counterparts to question the former British prime minister about the substance of the get-together, according to Britain's Daily Mirror.
"Her evidence is sought about that meeting and her involvement in the alleged deception and violation of US criminal laws," according to a secret government memo leaked to the London tabloid. Thatcher reportedly met DeLay "while he was on a suspected favours-for-freebies scam run by shady US lobbyists."
"In return for his free holiday, DeLay ... allegedly backed legislation favourable to lobby groups," the Mirror reported.
The request is part of the ongoing investigation into the activities of lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a close associate of DeLay's.
A spokesman for Lady Thatcher's office said, "An approach was made to her office to confirm the bare details of the particular meeting. At this stage we are expecting nothing further. Lady Thatcher met Mr. DeLay as as one politician meeting another. It was in no way a business meeting."
Thatcher's reputation was tainted last year when her son, Mark, was fined £265,000 ($464,000) for helping to organize an attempted coup in the African oil enclave of Equatorial Guinea.
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