Thursday, December 22, 2005

More info on possible Republican lobbyist's plea agreement

The New York Times moves the story on Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff ahead a little today, particularly with this passage:

One participant in the case said the deal could be made final as early as next week.

The terms of the plea deal have not been completed, and the negotiations are especially complicated because they involve prosecutors both in Miami and in Washington, where Mr. Abramoff is being investigated in a separate influence-peddling inquiry, participants said. Details of what he feels comfortable pleading guilty to are "probably largely worked out," the participant said, while the details of the prison sentence are less resolved.

Next week? Maybe, maybe not:

"Anything can happen," the participant said, adding that the agreement could fall apart. Another person with detailed knowledge of the case said that while negotiations were continuing, the deal could take longer than another week to be settled.

Let us not forget that these details which are "probably largely worked out" are for the criminal trial set to begin in Miami on January 9 regarding fraud in Abramoff's SunCruz casino purchase. While it is possible that this case touches on a few members of Congress -- Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and former DeLay-aide-turned-Abramoff-hired-lobbyist Tony Rudy served as references for Abramoff, and Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) famously inserted comments in the congressional record about the business deal -- the real liability a dozen (or dozens?) Republican politicians and operatives face is when Abramoff cuts a deal in fraud case involving his work for Native American tribes and casinos.

It's a little surprising that it appears that the Department of Justice is separating the pleas here...

7 Comments:

  • Not surprising at all....it shows both criminal cases are entirely seperate and also overlap eachother...

    For anyone knows even more fish may be netted because they are seperate cases of bribery....

    That means the plea-deal is largely being ironed out for Washington while the case in Miami goes to trial.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:26 PM  

  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:52 PM  

  • Although I think what Delay did was unethical and wrong I dont think that legally he will be convicted, but I actually was happy to read two online articles from the houston press and the chronicle on a newcomer into the primary. Tom Campbell although a serious underdog with a small chance of vitory seems to be a real legit candidate and if people see that I think things can change.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:19 AM  

  • Legally what he did is convictable, on multiple counts:

    Jack Abramoff sings, is testifying against Delay

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:52 PM  

  • The Washington Post on December 30, 2005 reported on the Abramoff _Tom DeLay money trail, in a very revealing article.

    The DeLay-Abramoff Money Trail
    Nonprofit Group Linked to Lawmaker Was Funded Mostly by Clients of Lobbyist

    By R. Jeffrey Smith
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Saturday, December 31, 2005; Page A01

    The U.S. Family Network, a public advocacy group that operated in the 1990s with close ties to Rep. Tom DeLay and claimed to be a nationwide grass-roots organization, was funded almost entirely by corporations linked to embattled lobbyist Jack Abramoff, according to tax records and former associates of the group.

    During its five-year existence, the U.S. Family Network raised $2.5 million but kept its donor list secret. The list, obtained by The Washington Post, shows that $1 million of its revenue came in a single 1998 check from a now-defunct London law firm whose former partners would not identify the money's origins.

    Majority Leader Delay Indicted
    Rep. Tom Delay (R-Tex.), a hard-charging partisan with an intimidating reputation, was charged by a Texas prosecutor in a campaign finance probe.


    The Jack Abramoff Story
    Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff has been indicted for illegal actions he allegedly took to purchase a fleet of Florida gambling boats from a businessman who was later killed in a gangland-style hit. Other efforts he took to funnel money to support causes of interest to his clients are also being probed.
    How a Lobbyist Stacked the Deck (Oct. 16, 2005)
    A High-Powered Lobbyist's Swift Fall From Grace (Aug. 12, 2005)
    More Coverage on Abramoff

    Graphic
    How Abramoff Spread the Wealth
    This graphic charts lobbying fees paid to Jack Abramoff and which lawmakers received campaign donations from Abramoff and his associates.

    Abramoff Lobbying Questioned
    The DeLay-Abramoff Money Trail
    The Fast Rise and Steep Fall of Jack Abramoff
    When the Cutting Is Corrupted
    Pundit Payola
    Ex-Director of Md. GOP Testified on Ties to Abramoff
    More Stories
    Two former associates of Edwin A. Buckham, the congressman's former chief of staff and the organizer of the U.S. Family Network, said Buckham told them the funds came from Russian oil and gas executives. Abramoff had been working closely with two such Russian energy executives on their Washington agenda, and the lobbyist and Buckham had helped organize a 1997 Moscow visit by DeLay (R-Tex.).

    The former president of the U.S. Family Network said Buckham told him that Russians contributed $1 million to the group in 1998 specifically to influence DeLay's vote on legislation the International Monetary Fund needed to finance a bailout of the collapsing Russian economy.

    A spokesman for DeLay, who is fighting in a Texas state court unrelated charges of illegal fundraising, denied that the contributions influenced the former House majority leader's political activities. The Russian energy executives who worked with Abramoff denied yesterday knowing anything about the million-dollar London transaction described in tax documents.

    Whatever the real motive for the contribution of $1 million -- a sum not prohibited by law but extraordinary for a small, nonprofit group -- the steady stream of corporate payments detailed on the donor list makes it clear that Abramoff's long-standing alliance with DeLay was sealed by a much more extensive web of financial ties than previously known.

    Records and interviews also illuminate the mixture of influence and illusion that surrounded the U.S. Family Network. Despite the group's avowed purpose, records show it did little to promote conservative ideas through grass-roots advocacy. The money it raised came from businesses with no demonstrated interest in the conservative "moral fitness" agenda that was the group's professed aim.

    In addition to the million-dollar payment involving the London law firm, for example, half a million dollars was donated to the U.S. Family Network by the owners of textile companies in the Mariana Islands in the Pacific, according to the tax records. The textile owners -- with Abramoff's help -- solicited and received DeLay's public commitment to block legislation that would boost their labor costs, according to Abramoff associates, one of the owners and a DeLay speech in 1997.

    A quarter of a million dollars was donated over two years by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Abramoff's largest lobbying client, which counted DeLay as an ally in fighting legislation allowing the taxation of its gambling revenue.

    The records, other documents and interviews call into question the very purpose of the U.S. Family Network, which functioned mostly by collecting funds from domestic and foreign businesses whose interests coincided with DeLay's activities while he was serving as House majority whip from 1995 to 2002, and as majority leader from 2002 until the end of September.

    After the group was formed in 1996, its director told the Internal Revenue Service that its goal was to advocate policies favorable for "economic growth and prosperity, social improvement, moral fitness, and the general well-being of the United States." DeLay, in a 1999 fundraising letter, called the group "a powerful nationwide organization dedicated to restoring our government to citizen control" by mobilizing grass-roots citizen support.

    But the records show that the tiny U.S. Family Network, which never had more than one full-time staff member, spent comparatively little money on public advocacy or education projects. Although established as a nonprofit organization, it paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees to Buckham and his lobbying firm, Alexander Strategy Group.


    www.washingtonpost.com issue of 12-30-05
    Search: "Abramoff DeLay money trail"

    Allen

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:57 AM  

  • BUSTED!

    Hand caught in the cookie jar......What was Delay up to? Oh rearing the way for the neo-liberal illuminati neocons I see....

    Russian Mafia, Israel-Turkish cultists, big time oil executives, slush money.....conservative agenda ay?

    Conservative my ass......he was embroiled all up in it and all the scams are going to send him down, down down...

    WOW WHAT A DAY

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:41 AM  

  • Poor Tommy,May He Rot In Hell

    By Anonymous jimjustice, at 2:25 PM  

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