Time reporter Mike Allen: Conviction of "friends of the president" is going to be "very helpful" to BushMay 25, 2006 4:29 PM EDT ››› JULIE MILLICAN
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During the May 25 edition of Fox News Live, Time magazine White House correspondent Mike Allen declared that the guilty verdicts for former Enron CEOs Kenneth L. Lay and Jeffrey K. Skilling "could be very helpful to the president [George W. Bush]." Noting Lay's close ties to Bush, Allen suggested that despite Lay's being "the president's largest lifetime contributor" and Enron's extensive "connections ... in the governor's office [while Bush was governor of Texas] and the administration," the convictions of Lay and Skilling nonetheless are "going to be very helpful to the president because it shows that even friends of the president, even big business, longtime supporters of the president are prosecuted, and there is justice even for big fish."
Lay and Skilling were both convicted on May 25 of various charges, including securities and wire fraud and conspiracy, related to the collapse of Houston-based energy giant Enron Inc. Lay, whom Bush reportedly nicknamed "Kenny Boy," has been a longtime supporter and friend of Bush and his family. Additionally, Lay is believed to have been part of Vice President Dick Cheney's secret energy task force in 2001, which helped set U.S. energy policy.
From the May 25 edition of Fox News Live:
BILL HEMMER (host): Mike Allen's with me now from Time magazine. Mike Gallagher is a Fox News contributor. Mike and Mike, welcome, here.
ALLEN AND GALLAGHER: Hi, Bill.
HEMMER: First to Mike Allen, is there a political impact; is there a political fallout in any way on, as a result of this trial? Mike, do you believe?
ALLEN: Well, sure there is. This is going to be very helpful to the president because it shows that even friends of the president, even big business, longtime supporters of the president are prosecuted, and there is justice even for big fish. Bill, you can remember a couple years ago, there was a frenzy of coverage about how close the president was to Ken Lay when the president was governor, and going into running for president. It was often stated that Ken Lay was the president's largest lifetime contributor, which was true. The president -- there were a lot of connections to this company both in the governor's office and the administration, so people wondered what would happen with this.