The ax begins to fall on the Abramoff gang

The Justice Department files charges and Abramoff's partner, Michael Scanlon, cops a plea.


Andrew Leonard
November 19, 2005 3:04AM (UTC)

As if Republican legislators didn't have enough to worry about these days, what with Bush's plummeting poll numbers, Democrats on the (anti) warpath, grand jury investigations, and daily reports of fraud and death in Iraq, today the long simmering Abramoff lobbying scandal boiled over.

As reported by numerous outlets, Michael P.S. Scanlon, a business associate of Abramoff's, was charged today with conspiring to defraud multiple Native American tribes of millions of dollars.

Advertisement:

Salon obtained a copy of the Justice Department filing; you can read it here.

By midafternoon, Roll Call was reporting that Scanlon had already reached a plea agreement with prosecutors and would testify against Abramoff.

But Abramoff and Scanlon aren't likely to be the only ones who take a fall. The Justice Department filing charges that Scanlon did "knowingly conspire, confederate and agree with Lobbyist A [Abramoff]" to "corruptly offer and provide things of value, including money, meals, trips and entertainment to federal public officials in return for agreements to perform official acts benefitting Scanlon, Lobbyist A, and their clients."

Note the plural with respect to "federal public officials." One member of the House of Representatives, widely believed to be Robert Ney, an Ohio Republican, is specifically singled out in the filing, though only under the pseudonym "Representative #1." Ney is known to have attended the infamous golf trip to Scotland in 2002 that was paid for by Abramoff. But Abramoff's net spread very, very wide. As legislators prepare to split town for Thanksgiving, one wonders how many of them are going to have a happy holiday.


Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

MORE FROM Andrew LeonardFOLLOW koxinga21LIKE Andrew Leonard

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

War Room

BROWSE SALON.COM
COMPLETELY AD FREE,
FOR THE NEXT HOUR

Read Now, Pay Later - no upfront
registration for 1-Hour Access

Click Here
7-Day Access and Monthly
Subscriptions also available
No tracking or personal data collection
beyond name and email address

•••


Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •