The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Abramoff could take down a dozen politicians

The word in this NYT piece is that Abramoff is going to sing like a canary to reduce his potential prison sentence. It should make for some extra holiday perspiration in Republican circles.

But after a lengthy bargaining phase, Mr. Abramoff's lawyers and prosecutors in the Florida case appear closer to resolving several of the central issues in the plea deal, in which the defendant would receive a reduced prison sentence - most likely in the range of five to seven years, though that is fluid - in exchange for pleading guilty and agreeing to testify against his former associates.
Mr. Abramoff was indicted in Florida on Aug. 11 on charges stemming from his purchase of a fleet of casino boats in 2000. Prosecutors said Mr. Abramoff and a business partner, Adam Kidan, falsified documents and lied about their financing in order to complete the purchase. Mr. Kidan pleaded guilty last week, leaving Mr. Abramoff to face six criminal counts and up to 30 years in prison as case's sole defendant.
At the same time, prosecutors 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.