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Nervous Lawmakers

Go hear an interesting interview with Newsweek correspondent Richard Wolffe about how nervous lawmakers are in the wake of the Jack Abramoff investigations. A tip from Nick Nyhart, executive director: it gets really good around 1:45.


Buried in the New York Times...

Buried deep in The New York Times story--21st paragraph, in fact--about the Senate approving lobbying legislation yesterday is the nugget of the story:

Shivers down congressional spines

I can't imagine many people in Washington will be happy to read this line in tomorrow's New York Times story about Jack Abramoff's sentencing hearing in Miami:



The judge agreed to the prison term, the minimum possible under sentencing guidelines, after prosecutors praised Mr. Abramoff for his cooperation in the Washington inquiry, which centers on accusations that he had tried to bribe public officials, including Republican lawmakers.


Two possible explanations

Norm Ornstein has a column in Roll Call (subscription only). With all the scandals involving former Tom DeLay staffers (Ed Buckham, Tony Rudy, Michael Scanlon -- who else?), you'd have to come up with one of two explanations for DeLay's role, according to Ornstein:


Abramoff gets 5 years, 10 months on first sentence

A Miami judge sentenced lobbyist Jack Abramoff to 5 years, 10 months for wire fraud in connection to his purchase of SunCruz casinos. He has also signed a federal plea agreement on bribery charges related to his lobbying, for which he will be sentenced later this year. The 5 year, 10 month sentence is the minimum allowable time, which likely indicates that Abramoff is cooperating with federla prosecutors in the investigation into as many as 20 members of Congress and their aides, AP reported.


A Rabbi, a Military Officer, and a NHL Referee Go Into a Courtroom....

Jack Abramoff will be sentenced today in Miami, Florida as a result of his guilty plea to conspiracy and wire fraud charges stemming from his attempted purchase of a fleet of gambling boats.  According to the Houston Chronicle, in an attempt for leniency, Abramoff had some 260 people write letters on his behalf including rabbis, military officers, and a professional hockey referee.

From the letter of NHL referee Dave Jackson:

Technicality Keeps TX Prosecutor from Investigating Reed

Citing a statute of limitations, A Texas prosecutor declined to investigate whether Ralph Reed violated Texas lobbying laws, reports The Washington Post.


Abramoff and DeLay. More. Again.

It just keeps coming. Here's a good take from Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone on the Abramoff/DeLay Russian connection (excuse the language):


Abramoff and DeLay. More.

Well there's always more. I spaced on including Peter Stone's National Journal piece (no link) from last week regarding DeLay's trip to Moscow to meet with oil executives. TPMMuckraker sums it up nicely:


So put it together: DeLay's chief aide gets $250,000 paid into his front operation by Abramoff clients. Two weeks later, DeLay is having dinner in Russia with those Abramoff clients.


Read TPMMuckraker's summary here

Abramoff and DeLay. Don't believe Novak.

Over the weekend Bob Novak wrote that Tom DeLay won't be implicated by Jack Abramoff's deal with federal prosecutors:


Disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff has advised friends that he has no derogatory information about former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and is not implicating him as part of his plea bargain with federal prosecutors.