- Neil Bush, a younger brother of US President George W.
Bush, has had a $60,000-a-year employment contract with a top adviser to
a Washington-based consulting firm set up this year to help companies secure
contracts in Iraq.
- Neil Bush disclosed the payments during divorce proceedings
in March from his now ex-wife, Sharon. The divorce was finalised in April
and the court papers were disclosed by the Houston Chronicle this week.
- Mr Bush said he was co-chairman of Crest Investment Corporation,
a company based in Houston, Texas, that invests in energy and other ventures.
For this he received $15,000 every three months for working an average
three or four hours a week.
- The other co-chairman and principal of Crest is Jamal
Daniel, a Syrian-American who is an advisory board member of New Bridge
Strategies, a company set up this year by a group of businessmen with close
links to the Bush family or administrations. Its chairman is Joe Allbaugh,
George W. Bush's campaign director in the 2000 presidential elections.
- Other figures at New Bridge include Ed Rogers, its vice-chairman
and a senior official in the Reagan and first Bush administrations, and
Lanny Griffith, with whom he works in the lobby firm Barbour Griffith &
Rogers. Lord Charles Powell, adviser to former British prime minister Margaret
Thatcher, is listed as an advisory board member.
- On its website, New Bridge describes itself as being
created to "take advantage of business opportunities in the Middle
East following the conclusion of the US-led war in Iraq".
- In his deposition, Neil Bush said he provided Crest "miscellaneous
consulting services". This included "answering phone calls when
Jamail [sic] Daniel, the other co-chairman, called and asked for advice".
- There is evidence that the relationship between Mr Bush
and Mr Daniel goes further. Joseph Peacock, Crest's company secretary,
is one of the original investors in Ignite, Neil Bush's educational software
company based in Austin, Texas.
- In 1996, Mr Daniel and his wife hosted a $1,000-a-plate
fund-raising dinner at their Houston mansion for the Texas Alliance Against
Alcohol Abuse. The event was chaired by Sharon Bush, while George H. W.
Bush, the former president, and his wife Barbara were to be present, according
to the Houston Chronicle in 1996.
- Other investors in Ignite, which was founded last year,
include George H. W. and Barbara Bush, and Winston Wong, a Taiwan businessman
who started the Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. The court papers
further show Mr Bush benefits from a contract with Grace, a company also
backed by Jiang Miangheng, son of Jiang Zemin, the former president of
- Under the deal, signed on August 15 2002, Grace would
pay Mr Bush $2m in shares over five years, issued in annual $400,000 increments.
- In return, according to the Los Angeles Times, Mr Bush
agreed to "provide GSMC from time to time with business strategies
and policies; latest information and trends of the related industry, and
other advice", according to the contract.
- A call to New Bridge in Houston went unanswered yesterday,
a holiday in the US. Previous attempts to contact Mr Daniel through the
office were unsuccessful.
- © Copyright The Financial Times Ltd 2003