The deal is done. Abramoff has officially pleaded guilty to a federal court
in Washington D.C. and is expected to head to Florida tomorrow to do the same
with the charges he is facing there in the Sun Cruz deal.
Abramoff pleaded guilty to conspiracy, tax evasion, fraud, and violation of
lobbying laws. Reporters described Abramoff’s demeanor in the court room as
somber. They said he agreed to the guilty pleas with less of a whisper. A dim
view of one of the most powerful men in Washington.
Chris Matthews had nothing good to say about Abramoff in his interview. He
referred to him as crooked, slime and Satan. Clips being played of Abramoff
leaving the courthouse paints a great picture of the kind of man he is. His
humble clothes had to run in the thousands of dollars. I will try to get a
picture of it later as it really says a lot.
His sentence is being delayed pending his cooperation with federal
Talking Points Memo has a copy of the plea deal. In it a representative
named only as representative number one has been implicated in receiving bribes
from Abramoff. It is pretty much assumed that representative is Republican Bob
Ney of Ohio, the man commonly referred to as the Mayor of Capital Hill.
Abramoff has been ordered to pay approximately $25 million in restitution,
including part to the Indian Tribes he has defrauded over the years.
Now that this step is out of the way we should expect the case to progress
rather quickly. This started as a plea deal with form Abramoff partner Michael
Scanlon who in turn gave prosecutors evidence to go after Abramoff. Abramoff is
the big fish in this hunt and is expected to implicate up to two dozen law
makers in his deals.
Considering the severity of the charges Abramoff pleaded to, the government
must be looking at some big charges aimed at Capital Hill. The interesting part
to see now is if the members on the Hill will start making deals or if they will
try and maintain their innocence in all this.
We are definitely having a good start to the New Year.