Amid new reports about the extent to which Jack Abramoff controlled nonprofit groups in Washington, Rep. Bob Ney pleaded guilty this morning to charges that he was corrupted by the disgraced Republican lobbyist.
We refer to Ney as "Rep. Bob Ney" because the Ohio Republican has not yet resigned from Congress. As Ney pleaded guilty today to charges of conspiracy and making false statements, his lawyer told U.S. District Judge Ellen Huvelle that Ney would resign sometime before he's scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 19. As the Associated Press notes, Ney will be out of Congress by then one way or another as he is not running for reelection.
Will Ney continue to draw a House paycheck until his term expires? That's a question that Ney and House Republican leaders ought to be addressing today. House Majority Leader John Boehner said last month that it wouldn't be fair for him to ask Ney to step down "until he has his day in court." He just had it. Will Boehner and other House leaders take a break from Foleygate damage control to call on Ney to leave now, or will they stand by silently as an admittedly corrupt colleague continues to cash paychecks from the American public?
Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.