Thanks to the Michelle Fields incident, the world has now been exposed to Donald Trump’s pint-sized campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. But many people still don’t really know who Corey Lewandowski is or where he came from. There’s a reason for that: Lewandowski has a long history of working for convicted political crooks and greasing the skids in Washington.

Lewandowski first came to political prominence during the Jack Abramoff scandal, when he was an aide to Bob Ney, the Ohio congressman who got sent away for 30 years on corruption charges during the whole mess. Basically, Ney was convicted of doing political favors for Abramoff clients in exchange for improper gifts – an absolutely pay for play scam. In the middle of it all was Lewandowski, who publicly and privately defended Ney until the very day he was put behind bars. As the Daily Beast noted last year:

Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager, launched his career in Washington politics as an aide to Representative Bob Ney, best known for his involvement with Abramoff. And just weeks before Ney was sentenced to prison on federal corruption charges in 2007, Lewandowski was pleading for leniency for his old boss, praising him as a “consummate professional.”

“I had the privilege of spending 20 hours a day with Bob seven days a week for over three years,” Lewandowski wrote in a letter to Judge Ellen S. Huvelle, who presided over Ney’s trial. “In that time, I learned more about life, people, politics, friendships [sic] and the importance of family than I ever could have imagined. Bob served as a mentor to me, as a surrogate father, and as a best fiiend [sic] all in one.”

Lewandowski has spent his own time in Washington, DC as a lobbyist, including time spent lobbying for clients who were lined up at he Obama stimulus trough:

He then became a lobbyist with the government affairs firm Schwartz Communications in Massachusetts, taking on some clients interested in the stimulus spending program proposed by President Obama and enacted by congressional Democrats to help the economy recover from the financial meltdown of 2008.

Another client was Americans for Prosperity, which has criticized the stimulus spending.

In other words, as much as Trump likes to berate debate crowds for booing him because they are full of “lobbyists and special interests,” what he really means is that his own campaign manager is in the crowd.

It’s telling, for anyone who thinks that Trump will change anything about the way Washington works, that Trump has chosen a man like Lewandowski, a long time lobbyist and defender of Washington crooks, to serve as his campaign manager. That Trump stands beside him even after the Fields incident says something different entirely.