Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Only a Dozen? 

The WaPo reports that Republican uber-lobbyist and slush fund impresario Jack Abramoff, facing thirty years in prison on fraud charges, is likely to flip on his partners in crime as early as next week:
The terms of the plea deal have not been completed, and the negotiations are especially complicated because they involve prosecutors both in Miami and in Washington, where Mr. Abramoff is being investigated in a separate influence-peddling inquiry, participants said. Details of what he feels comfortable pleading guilty to are "probably largely worked out," the participant said, while the details of the prison sentence are less resolved . . . .

[P]rosecutors in Washington have been sifting through evidence of what they believe is a corruption scheme involving at least a dozen lawmakers and their former staff members, many of whom worked closely on legislation with Mr. Abramoff and accepted gifts and favors from him. Although Mr. Abramoff is also in negotiations in that case, it is unclear whether a settlement can be reached in time for both agreements to be announced at once.

Michael Scanlon, a close business associate of Mr. Abramoff in Washington who also worked on the SunCruz casino boat deal, pleaded guilty in October in exchange for testifying in both inquiries. The case, being worked on by dozens of investigators as part of a multiagency task force, has expanded in recent months to put senior Republican officials and prominent party lobbyists under immense scrutiny.

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