PIPELINE TO THE PRESIDENT

AFTER ROGER TAMRAZ PUT UP $150,000, DEMOCRATIC PARTY OFFICIALS BATTLED THE CIA AND THE NSC TO GET HIM INSIDE THE WHITE HOUSE. GUESS WHO PREVAILED?

Roger Tamraz wanted to build a pipeline from the Caspian Sea to Turkey, but he needed to build one to the White House first. He tunneled under the U.S. intelligence community, dodged the doorkeepers who were trying to keep him out, shoveled at least $150,000 into Democratic Party coffers and finally broke through into the West Wing, where he joined the President for coffee and a screening of Independence Day.

The pattern has become familiar: every week now, it seems, we meet another businessman who wanted a favor from the White House and was willing to pay for it. And every...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!