Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Corrupt Lobbyist Ready To Plea

Jack Abramoff, the corrupt lobbyist under criminal investigation, has been discussing with prosecutors a deal that would grant him a reduced sentence in exchange for testimony against former political and business associates, according to The New York Times.

Mr. Abramoff is known to have extensive knowledge of widespread corruption among lawmakers and Congressional staff members from both political parties. One participant described him as a "unique resource."

The talks most probably will conclude before Jan. 9, when Mr. Abramoff is scheduled to stand trial in Miami in a separate prosecution.

The investigation began as a limited inquiry into $82 million of Indian casino lobbying by Mr. Abramoff and his closest partner, Michael Scanlon, but has broadened into a far-reaching corruption investigation of Republican and Democrat lawmakers and aides suspected of accepting favors in exchange for legislative work.

The top recipient of contributions from Abramoff’s tribal clients and lobbying associates was Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), who received $141,590, according to The Washington Post. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) was second with $128,000.

Update: A Washington Post article on The Fast Rise and Steep Fall of Jack Abramoff. One of Abramoff's lawyers is quoted as saying to former Senator Alan Simpson: "There are going to be guys in your former line of work who are going to be taken down."