Abramoff: Gingrich wanted CNMI, Guam, A. Samoa be part of Hawaii

At the height of convicted felon and former CNMI lobbyist Jack Abramoff's efforts to stave off attempts to federalize CNMI immigration, he approached then U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich-now vying for the U.S. presidency-but was stunned by the latter's suggestion to make the CNMI, Guam, and American Samoa be part of Hawaii.

“That way, they can all have a congressman and be a real part of the United States,” Abramoff quoted Gingrich as saying in a 1995 meeting.

It took more than a decade later or in 2008 for a U.S. law to be signed federalizing CNMI immigration and allowing for the election of the CNMI's first nonvoting delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Abramoff, in his new book, Capitol Punishment: The Hard Truth about Washington Corruption from America's Most Notorious Lobbyist, said that Gingrich's tendency to wander was a bit unnerving, as he never seemed to be able to sit still or focus for more than a few minutes.


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