Former lobbyist Tony C. Rudy pleaded guilty to conspiring with Jack Abramoff, Michael Scanlon and others to commit honest services fraud, mail and wire fraud, and a violation of conflict of interest post-employment restrictions, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division announced today.
Rudy, 39, entered his plea today in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia before Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle. Under the terms of a plea agreement, Rudy faces up to five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, mandatory restitution estimated to be approximately $100,000 as well as supervised release following his incarceration. Rudy has agreed to cooperate with law enforcement officials in the ongoing investigation. Rudy's named co-conspirators, Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon, previously pled guilty in this investigation, and are also cooperating with law enforcement officials.
There's plenty of info on Rudy in the story, but disappointingly little about his shady dealings with other Republican insiders. Nevertheless, this story bodes ill for Tom DeLay's desperate attempts to hang on to his Beltway influence. Judging from the number of his buddies who are admittedly guilty and working with authorities, he's primed for a massive fall.
I'll also recommend this TPM story, which links Rudy to Ed Buckham, who is linked to Randy Cunningham, who is linked to Katherine Harris. John Doolittle fits in there somewhere, too. And those are just the bigger names.
Finally, if you're looking for a seedy parable on the dangers of being a DeLay-style weasel rancher, check out this Wall Street Journal story. It's not only a well-written account of how one of DeLay's buddies went down, but a remarkable look at the unraveling of the massive Republican corruption scandal. One thread of it, anyway. Fascinating stuff, and highly recommended.