Abramoff Cuts Deal
From the Washington Post:
Jack Abramoff, the once-powerful lobbyist at the center of a wide-ranging public corruption investigation, pleaded guilty yesterday to fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy to bribe public officials in a deal that requires him to provide evidence about members of Congress.
In a companion analysis, two Post reporters (Birnbaum and Balz) do their part to dispel the myth that Abramoff’s corruption was bipartisan:
Jack Abramoff represented the most flamboyant and extreme example of a brand of influence trading that flourished after the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives 11 years ago. Now, some GOP strategists fear that the fallout from his case could affect the party’s efforts to keep control in the November midterm elections.
Abramoff was among the lobbyists most closely associated with the K Street Project, which was initiated by his friend Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), now the former House majority leader, once the GOP vaulted to power. It was an aggressive program designed to force corporations and trade associations to hire more GOP-connected lobbyists in what at times became an almost seamless relationship between Capitol Hill lawmakers and some firms that sought to influence them.
Slate has a nice run-down of who’s most at risk from a newly loquacious Abramoff.
I like the NYT’s take on this, too:
WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 – As a high-flying Republican lobbyist, Jack Abramoff has long been known as a mover and shaker in Washington. But when he cut a deal with federal prosecutors on Tuesday, he shook up this town as never before.
Since that’s the lead paragraph, I suppose I can forgive this headline: “Tremors Across Washington as Lobbyist Will Aid Inquiry.” Geographically speaking, “Across Washington” is probably accurate; politically speaking, however, I suspect the tremors are quite concentrated.