Recently released Abramoff email messages indicate that DeLay, via a phone call from the Majority Leader himself, demanded a $25,000 contribution for a GOP dinner from one of Abramoff's tribal clients. Abramoff passed on this message to the client and, voila, the money was donated within hours.
DeLay's ties to Abramoff are expanding from golfing and lavish trips to including the Majority Leader demanding money for GOP events and fundraisers (which is what the Justice Department and Senate investigators are looking at as well).
From the New York Times:
"The e-mail messages, obtained by the Justice Department and Senate investigators and made available to The New York Times, are significant because they are the first evidence to demonstrate that Mr. Abramoff cited personal pressure from Mr. DeLay in trying to persuade Indian tribe clients to send political donations and other money to Washington. The government's scrutiny of ties between Mr. Abramoff and Mr. DeLay had previously focused on a series of lavish overseas trips taken by the lawmaker."
"The newly disclosed e-mail messages are dated July 17, 2002. One was said to have been written by Mr. Abramoff's assistant, Holly Bowers, and described a phone call from Mr. DeLay "about the President's dinner contribution you owe," a reference to the 2002 President's Dinner, a major Republican fund-raiser held in June, a month before the e-mail message. 'It was the Congressman himself,' the message said of the call. 'Needless to say, I was a bit nervous.'"
Through his lawyer, DeLay denies the call ever took place. Would you expect anything less?