Date registered: Sep 2005
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Abramoff Was Facing 100 Years In Jail
I got my popcorn machine on full tilt. KV, want some dude? He's got to be shelling out a hell of a lot of goods to have them knock off 90 years off of the felony charges.
The man in the hat sings
Who else will lobbyist Jack Abramoff take down with him?
By Edward T. Pound
For years, Jack Abramoff had it all--money, power, friends in high places. He spread campaign cash and lavish gifts around Washington, hustled fat-cat clients, and palled around with power brokers on Capitol Hill. He could do no wrong. Now, however, he is the proverbial skunk at the garden party--scorned by his big-shot friends, frightened, and facing the prospect of perhaps 10 years or more in prison.
Until he cut his deal with the Justice Department, Abramoff, 46, had maintained stoutly that he had done nothing wrong. He and a business partner, Michael Scanlon, hauled in more than $80 million in fees from their Indian clients. Abramoff shared some of the wealth. According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign donations, he and his Indian clients gave some $4.4 million in such gifts to more than 300 lawmakers, federal candidates, and political committees over the past six years. Recently, many lawmakers began giving up the tainted funds to charity. President Bush's re-election campaign decided to give the American Heart Association the $6,000 it had received from Abramoff, his wife, and an Indian tribal client.
Abramoff's plea agreement came as no surprise. Last November, reports began circulating in Washington that he was negotiating with government prosecutors. In fact, Abramoff's team of lawyers, led by Abbe Lowell, had been in discussions with federal investigators for more than a year, according to those with knowledge of the investigation. U.S. News was told that initially, Abramoff faced the prospect of being charged with crimes that could have carried a prison term of more than 100 years. His lawyers "fought very hard for over a year," says a source, to get him a better deal.
Now, the government is preparing to reap the benefits. Investigators "will follow this guy into Congress and into the executive branch, including Interior," this person says. "Obviously, they will drain him dry about what he knows."