Abramoff copping a plea.
December 21, 2005 12:14 PM   Subscribe

Abramoff is negotiating a possible deal with the Justice Department, in which he would agree to plead guilty and cooperate in the wide-ranging political corruption investigation focused on his dealings with members of Congress and executive branch officials, people familiar with the talks said last night. Abramoff's entry in the Wikipedia. WaPo's chart outlining Abramoff's dealings. A dKos diary pointing out some omissions in the chart. [Newsfilter]
posted by darkstar (49 comments total)
Abramoff has an 'accident' in 3...2...1...
posted by mullingitover at 12:17 PM on December 21, 2005

And the L.A. Times reported yesterday that his dealings extend to the Pacific -- Audit Says Guam Court Secretly Hired Lobbyist.
posted by ericb at 12:19 PM on December 21, 2005

My hope is that my present (R) representative is linked in, but only after March 10, the deadline for filing for the primary. (I'm seriously toying with running as a Dem, should the incumbent still be unchallenged...I can't file to run in the primary until March 9, 3 months after I switched my registration from "decline to state" to "dem").
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:21 PM on December 21, 2005

He's kind of the paradigmatic case for all this sort of stuff. Let's hope he kept all his notes and will now weasel on his pals.
posted by carter at 12:26 PM on December 21, 2005

Abramoff has an 'accident' in 3...2...1...

Yeah -- kind of like when SunCruz's Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis -- whose reputation Abramoff et al were trying to destroy -- ended up getting murdered.
posted by ericb at 12:29 PM on December 21, 2005

I preview my newsfilter when the news actually happens. Or are you going to post another FPP when he pleads guilty?
posted by smackfu at 12:33 PM on December 21, 2005

Abramoff has an 'accident' in 3...2...1...

Totally dude. Vince Foster man!
posted by kjh at 12:50 PM on December 21, 2005

Even discussing the possible imperfection of our leaders is helping the enemy, and shameful. Stop hurting America; would you rather Saddam was still in charge?
posted by squirrel at 1:05 PM on December 21, 2005

Abramoff has an 'accident' in 3...2...1..

Somehow I picture Nurse Diesel from High Anxiety plotting against him :)
posted by unreason at 1:10 PM on December 21, 2005

how does the abramhoff scandal overlap with cunningham? - wilkes and ultimately the reprehensible toady for the torturers and soon to be indicted duncan hunter ?
posted by specialk420 at 1:28 PM on December 21, 2005

Good point, smackfu. I probably should have waited until there was a plea announced.

As a peace offering, guess where this quote is from:
"The time has come that the American people know exactly what their Representatives are doing here in Washington. Are they feeding at the public trough, taking lobbyist-paid vacations, getting wined and dined by special interest groups? Or are they working hard to represent their constituents? The people, the American people, have a right to know."
Give up?

It was spoken by Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX), on the House floor, November 16, 1995. (via Political Wire.) :)
posted by darkstar at 1:29 PM on December 21, 2005

toady for the torturers redux
posted by specialk420 at 1:30 PM on December 21, 2005

Jesus this guy is dirty. No wonder the Republicans loved him so much.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 1:40 PM on December 21, 2005

Delay: "Are they feeding at the public trough, taking lobbyist-paid vacations, getting wined and dined by special interest groups?"

Donors Underwrite DeLay's Luxury Lifestyle
"As Tom DeLay became a king of campaign fundraising, he lived like one too. He visited cliff-top Caribbean resorts, golf courses designed by PGA champions and four-star restaurants - all courtesy of donors who bankrolled his political money empire.

Over the past six years, the former House majority leader and his associates have visited places of luxury most Americans have never seen, often getting there aboard corporate jets arranged by lobbyists and other special interests.

Public documents reviewed by The Associated Press tell the story: at least 48 visits to golf clubs and resorts with lush fairways; 100 flights aboard company planes; 200 stays at hotels, many world-class; and 500 meals at restaurants, some averaging nearly $200 for a dinner for two.

Instead of his personal expense, the meals and trips for DeLay and his associates were paid with donations collected by the campaign committees, political action committees and children's charity the Texas Republican created during his rise to the top of Congress.

Put them together and an opulent lifestyle emerges."[Associated Press | December 20, 2005]
posted by ericb at 1:42 PM on December 21, 2005

posted by ericb at 1:45 PM on December 21, 2005

I wonder who Abramoff will bring down when he sings. And more interesting, I wonder who those people will bring down.
posted by ilsa at 1:58 PM on December 21, 2005

First comes Fitzmas, then comes Abramoffukah!
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 2:01 PM on December 21, 2005

This is potentially the most damaging thing facing the GOP, far more than our disaster in Iraq, far more than the NSA spying scandal, it could pull down many important GOP members.
posted by caddis at 2:19 PM on December 21, 2005

From the Wikipedia entry: Abramoff spent ten years in Hollywood, producing such movies as Red Scorpion

Geez, he deserves prison just for that piece of shit. (More seriously, Red Scorpion was shot in South Africa and occupied Namibia, with heavy South African Army involvement, in 1989. That is, while apartheid was still in force, the National Party ruled the country and Nelson Mandela was still in prison. Such a freedom fighter, that Abramoff...)
posted by Skeptic at 2:42 PM on December 21, 2005

Ah, Salon.com has some interesting copy about the sad tale of Red Scorpion and Abramoff's links with the apartheid regime...
posted by Skeptic at 2:54 PM on December 21, 2005

Y'all better hope this pulls down a whole buncha GOP members, otherwise what hope is there that you'll be able to clean up the mess that the US Administration has become?
posted by five fresh fish at 3:01 PM on December 21, 2005

I note with relish that Senator Conrad Burns is the largest single recipient of Smilin' Jack's largesse; "Idiot" Burns claimed a couple of days ago that the 9/11 hijackers were from Canada...
posted by docgonzo at 3:07 PM on December 21, 2005

At this point, I'd be happy for a good half-dozen or more corrupt Congressmen to lose their jobs. Recognizing they are most likely to be Republican (as am I), it is impossible to see any similarity between what they espouse and what I value.

If DeLay, Burns and others are found guilty and nailed for corruption, I will be cracking open the champagne and celebrating good riddance to bad rubbish.

No one is above the law and integrity still means something.
posted by darkstar at 3:18 PM on December 21, 2005

No one is above the law and integrity still means something.

oh, that's what you guys always say.
posted by quonsar at 3:39 PM on December 21, 2005

Abramoff to plead guilty next week, according to sources quoted by Bloomberg.
posted by ericb at 3:44 PM on December 21, 2005

No one is above the law and integrity still means something.

oh, that's what you guys always say.

The most powerful force in the world is love!

If we all work together, we can do anything!

The one thing money can't buy is happiness!
posted by JHarris at 4:15 PM on December 21, 2005

From the Salon story:

(Abramoff's spokesman, Andrew Blum, responded to inquiries from Salon for this article with a written "no comment.")

Aw... I wanna spokesman too! He'd be speaking for me everywhere! I'd call him "Lester," or maybe "Peanut," and keep him in a little box. I'd be sayin, "Spokesman! Wake up! I need you to full out financial aid applications for me!" or "Hey, I'm due to present in class, here's my research and notes, it's all you now!"

Man, if I had a spokesman, I'm sure it would be enough to finally shatter the crushing depression and lonliness of my life. Either that, or an X-box 360.
posted by JHarris at 4:20 PM on December 21, 2005

oh, that's what you guys always say.

Well, sincerity, integrity and the rule of law are important things to me. Far bigger than party affiliation. So I'm all in favor of indicting corrupt politicians, regardless of whether they're Republican.

But hey, I understand your cynicism. Sincerity, integrity and respect for the rule of law isn't all that much in evidence anywhere, nowadays. It's only smart to be suspicious when you actually encounter them, I guess.
posted by darkstar at 4:30 PM on December 21, 2005

So I'm all in favor of indicting corrupt politicians, regardless of whether they're Republican

It appears that the Abramoff affair is likely to ensare others from across the aisle:
Democrats Also Got Tribal Donations

Top Democrat in Abramoff Rrobe Returns Funds

Lobbyist Abramoff Linked to Democrats' Trips
posted by ericb at 4:46 PM on December 21, 2005

Okay, this is like three comments in a row for me, and I'm sorry, but...

Has anyone noticed how ad crazy Salon's gotten? In ADDITION to their giant, full-screen "day pass" ad, the attached article has obnoxious, huge, boxy, flashing graphic right in the middle of the article, another Flash ad of similar proportions to boot (caught by Flashblock) and yet ANOTHER huge ad for a screensaver at the bottom of the screen! And all this, just on the first of four pages in the article. All this, in addition to the graphic banners at the top and bottom of the page, and the "Day Pass sponsored by United" message at the top. Oy!
posted by JHarris at 4:48 PM on December 21, 2005

*ensnare* | *Probe*
posted by ericb at 4:53 PM on December 21, 2005

Jesus this guy is dirty. No wonder the Republicans loved him so much

Yeah, well the Democrats loved him half as much, according to tonight's CBS Evening News: 3.5 Million to Republicans, 1.8 Million to Democrats. There appears to be enough love to go around regardless of what side of the aisle you squat on.
posted by spicynuts at 5:21 PM on December 21, 2005

Good. Get the Dems too. Throw out every rotten cocksucker, let them all rot in fucking jail. I've no use for any of 'em.
posted by papakwanz at 5:29 PM on December 21, 2005

Yeah no one likes a ROTTEN cocksucker. It's the good cocksuckers we want more of.
posted by spicynuts at 5:39 PM on December 21, 2005

The entire US government needs to be purged like Karen Carpenter on Thanksgiving weekend.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:11 PM on December 21, 2005

I hope all the dirty pols get indicted, democrats, republicans, other; let the whole dirty lot of them get their asses reamed in a prison shower.
posted by caddis at 8:01 PM on December 21, 2005

Here's where you'll see the difference in moral fiber between the progressives and the neocons: progressives will holler for the ouster of any corrupt representative, red or blue; but if a republican gets busted the neocons will cringe, snarl and stick to the FOX news talking points, regardless of how ludicrous destructive they've become.
posted by squirrel at 8:49 PM on December 21, 2005

3.5 Million to Republicans, 1.8 Million to Democrats

Oh, he was a lot better to Republicans than just silly donations. Much better.
posted by Cycloptichorn at 9:08 PM on December 21, 2005

From Politics1, recalling a similar scandal a few years back:
Do I think Abramoff-gate is the Watergate of the 2006 election cycle? No, I don't think it alone will generate a tidal wave of change equal to what happened in 1974. Instead, I believe Abramoff is more likely to become the Tongsun Park of the '06 cycle. Park, for those who forget, was the foreign lobbyist who bribed several prominent members of Congress in the so-called Koreagate scandal and then fled the US to avoid prosecution. Between Koreagate and other assorted scandals, Congressmen Richard Hanna (D-CA), Joshua Eilberg (D-PA), Daniel Flood (D-PA) and Otto Passman (D-LA) were all implicated in having collectively accepted hundreds of thousands in gifts, bribes and kickbacks. All were eventually convicted of corruption charges -- and every one implicated in Koreagate who ran for re-election lost their seats.
Plus ça change...
posted by darkstar at 2:45 AM on December 22, 2005

Those figures showing both Dems and Pubs getting money are just Abramoff's personal political contributions (the "clean money".)

This whole indictment is about the very large slush fund he ran for the GOP, a separate thing.
And I guarantee Dems didn't get a single penny of the REAL money.
For more let me recommend Josh Marshall who has been covering the story for some time and makes the above point more than once.
posted by nofundy at 7:04 AM on December 22, 2005

its funny to see the republican spin machine's only defense on this one is "hey the dems were dirty too..." abramoff is a repuglican - abramhoff got his power through his repuglican ties - far and away most of his largesse and crooked contributions went to repuglicans, if and when he gave money to dems it's safe to say he did it on the recommendation or with the blessing of certain powerful repuglicans (tom delay).
posted by specialk420 at 9:52 AM on December 22, 2005

"What's so funny 'bout peacesincerity, loveintegrity and understandingrespect for the rule of law?"

I dig it, man, but it's just not as catchy as the original ...
posted by kcds at 10:03 AM on December 22, 2005

I confess, it lacks a certain prosodic...something...
posted by darkstar at 10:34 AM on December 22, 2005

Speaking of defunct Republican congressmen, does anyone know of any further details to the story now circulating that Ted Stevens may actually be resigning from the Senate?

He has previously threatened to do so repeatedly if legislation didn't go his way. And when the ANWR thing didn't work out for him, he had some highly charged rhetoric:
Stevens accused ANWR opponents of not knowing what was in the bill, and he pledged that he wouldn't let their constituents forget.

"I'm going to go to every one of your states, and I'm going to tell them what you've done!" he said. "And I'm sure the senator from Washington will enjoy my visits to Washington, because I'm going to visit there often. This was wrong!"

...He said he'd never asked for their votes in return for that help, but he said he was "drawing a line now with a lot of people I've worked with before."

"I really am. I really am," he said, his voice wavering. "I can't put (out of) my mind the amount of time, the days I spent with you, working on your problems, and to know you've said about me the things you've said in the last two months."

He said he was going home to think about what to do next year. "I say goodbye to the Senate tonight," he concluded. "Thank you very much." Some observers wondered if he was saying he was resigning, but an aide said she thought he was just saying he was tired and going home.
posted by darkstar at 12:04 PM on December 22, 2005

I've heard the "dems do it too" twice in this thread.

Next up: "It's all Clinton's fault!"

Threadbare defenses I'd say. What I'd expect from Rush or Sean or any other GOP media tool.

Word is that Abramoff will flip on at least 10 congresscritters and their aides (and wives!) so let's just see how many are Dems (or Clinton!)
posted by nofundy at 4:43 PM on December 22, 2005

And didn't another Senateworm just get jailed for doing something illegal with funds? Maybe two of 'em?

I'll bet there is starting to be quite the sizable database of scandal-associated political, corporate, and special-interests creeps.

Think the USA can cough up the big tarry ball of corruption it has ingested, like the phlegm of a lifetime smoker dying of cancer?
posted by five fresh fish at 10:31 PM on December 22, 2005

nofundy, when I mentioned that Dems are prone to this too, it was in no way intended to be a defense of the Republicans! It was meant in a more philosophical sense of recognizing that this kind of corruption is something that is unfortunately not restricted to one political party.

To suggest that the Republicans shouldn't be held accountable simply because the Dems have had similar scandals in the past would be an egregious tu quoque and NOT something I would espouse at all.

As I've said before, if the Republicans are dirty, they should be indicted and jailed. Good riddance to bad rubbish!
posted by darkstar at 4:51 AM on December 23, 2005

He's gonna sing -- Top lobbyist to plead guilty of corruption.
posted by ericb at 7:19 AM on January 3, 2006

Does this mean he gets to avoid jailtime?

If so, what a system: do the illegal, profit immensely, sing like a bird, and get off scot-frikkin'-free.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:37 AM on January 3, 2006

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