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Jack Abramoff Scandals
Sept. 4, 2008: Abramoff was sentenced to 48 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Ellen S. Huvelle. He could have received 121 months under federal guidelines, but because he helped prosecutors, the Judge gave him the sharply reduced sentence. This is in addition to the two years sentence Abramoff received in the separate bank fraud conviction in Florida.
Abramoff, in tears, said: "I have fallen into an abyss, your honor, and I don't know quite how to get out. My name is the butt of jokes, the source of laughs, the title of scandals, the synonym for perfidy, and I am not sure that will ever change." Nor are we.
Move over, Koreagate, Abscam, Housing Banking Scandal, we've got our own little scandal brewing here. Jack Abramoff, big spending, once-powerful Washington lobbyist copped a plea on January 3, 2006, and is now cooperating with the feds.
Abramoff plead guilty to three counts:
Conspiring with lobbyist Michael Scanlon (former aide to Tom DeLay) to defraud clients and to bribe public officials;
Depriving the public of honest services of the Honorable Robert W. Ney (Republican-Ohio); and
Evading a large part of income tax due in 2002.
As part of the deal, Abramoff must provide evidence about Members of Congress with whom he had dealings. If he complies, Abramoff still faces 9-1/2 to 11 years in prison.
The next day, Abramoff was in Florida, copping a second plea, admitting to conspiracy and wire fraud charges related to his purchase of a gambling boat fleet, called the SunCruz Casinos, in 2000. He pleaded guilty to two counts of the six criminal counts that a federal grand jury had brought against him in August. The plea called for a maximum of seven years in prison (on top of the 9-1/2 to 11 years in the plea the day before in Washington).
Update: March 29, 2006: Abramoff was sentenced to the minimum under federal guidelines, five years and ten months for his role in the fraudulent purchase of the casino boats. With this conviction, which is merely a sideshow to the big one yet to come, we start the Abramoff Scorecard, to keep you up to date on the indictments and convictions of BadBoys associated with Jack.
Abramoff? . . . Why He's no Friend of Mine!
Didn't take long for lawmakers (and the White House) to back peddle and disassociate themselves from Jack Abramoff. Everyone's friend might as well be everyone's leper.
Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert (Republican-Illinois) is going to give the $10,000 he received from Abramoff to charity.
President Bush will do the same, $6,000 from Abramoff now going to charity. (Abramoff raised more than $100,000 for the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign)
The Honorable Robert Ney (Republican-Ohio), the unnamed Congressman in the Abramoff guilty plea, now says he was fooled by the slick lobbyist.
The Honorable Tom De Lay (Republican-Texas) pledged to donate $57,000 of Abramoff contributions to charity.
The Honorable Roy Blunt (Republican-Missouri) will get rid of $8,500.
Altogether, 364 federal candidates and campaign committee from 1999 to 2004 received money from Abramoff clients.
The National Journal's Hotline listed some 43 Members of Congress (all Republicans) who received personal donations from Jack Abramoff and his wife and who said they plan to return the money or donate it to charity. A second list comprised 42 Members of Congress (26 Republicans; 16 Democrats) who had received donations from Abramoff clients or associates, but not from Abramoff or his wife personally. Check it out.
Dear Washington insider, are you losing any sleep over all this Abramoff stuff? Check out a list of potential additions to Congressional BadBoys.
Stay tuned . . .
Sources: A good set of sources online are the stories written by the Washington Post.