Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Shit meets fan

The kitchen light has just been turned on.

Lobbyist Jack Abramoff will plead guilty to federal charges in Washington and Miami, clearing the way for him to cooperate in a massive government investigation of influence peddling involving members of Congress, lawyers said Tuesday.

As part of the deal, prosecutors filed conspiracy, fraud and tax evasion charges against the embattled lobbyist. The filing outlined lavish gifts and contributions that it said Abramoff gave an unnamed House member, identified elsewhere as Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Administration Committee, in return for Ney's agreement to use his office to aid Abramoff clients.

Any such plea agreement likely would secure the Republican lobbyist's testimony against several members of Congress who received favors from him or his clients. The Justice Department is believed to be focusing on as many as 20 lawmakers and aides.
Now watch the roaches scatter.

It'll be easy to spot the guilty parties, even from the cheap seats. The faster and farther they distance themselves from Abramoff, and the questions they refuse to answer, should tell you everything you need to know. It'll sound a little like this:

White House spokesman Scott McClellan could not say Tuesday whether Abramoff ever met President Bush. But when asked at the White House about this, the spokesman said that "what he is reportedly acknowledged doing is unacceptable and outrageous."

"If laws were broken, he must be held to account for what he did," McClellan said.
I assume McClellan is talking about the Abramoff scandal, and not Bush's illegal domestic spying program. Quotes that are versatile enough to apply to both scandals must be very handy for a spokesperson.

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