Abramoff Gets a Plea Deal
Jack Abramoff is negotiating a possible
deal with federal prosecutors to plead guilty and cooperate with their investigation
into corruption in Washington. For more than five years, Abramoff was one of
the capital's most prominent Republican lobbyists. E-mails, documents and interviews
with his former associates show that he set up many interlocking political and
business entities to raise money, pay for lawmakers' trips and other favors,
fund his pet projects, and gain influence for himself and his clients. The Justice
Department has been looking into his relationships with half a dozen members
of Congress, as well as with Hill aides, government officials and business associates.
The Abramoff Galaxy
Abramoff is pleading to 3 felonies, which include conspiracy,
honest mail fraud and tax evasion. But the plea agreement and subsequent unraveling of the story are sure to bring more
drama and intrigue than it already has along with it, namely quite a few Republicans
and staff in Congress.
The indictment — by the way, “Representative
A #1″ is Bob Ney — is specific and teases of why Abramaoff agreed to a deal, but considering Safavian
and Scanlon already agreed to talk, Abramoff didn't have much choice. Mr. Safavian
was head of procurement for the Office of Management and Budget, right up until
the time he was arrested for lying to investigators about Abramoff. Mr. Scanlon
used to be Tom Delay's mouth piece (aka press secretary) and recently pleaded
builty to “conspiracy to bribe a congressman.”
Another guy in the mix is Adam Kidan, which is where the whole
thing gets a lot sexier, which can only mean one thing in this story: murder
and the mob. We'll talk about that later.
But one of the guys that I want to see pay for his false piety
is former Christian Conservative head Ralph Reed. He's implicated for taking
money from Abramoff on behalf of Indian gaming.
This story is likely to be the #1 headline grabber of the year.