Forget Madoff, It’s the Abramoff Scandal That Will Rock the Capitol in 2009

Dengre reminds us that the Abramoff investigation is ongoing, and that the outcome of this investigation could bring down a lot of influential Republicans:

To date, sixteen people–including Abramoff–have plead guilty in the scandal and as terms of their pleas they have been cooperating with the DOJ. Another two have been indicted. One is awaiting trial while the other was recently found guilty again in a retrial. Others, including Abramoff, have been indicted for crimes committed on the US Territory of Guam. A trial there is schedule to begin in January 2009. And then there are some indictments on the Marianas Islands that may also prove to be related to corruption in Washington when they come to trial. And that is just what is known on the surface. There are quite a few people identified in these cases who have yet to be indicted, but their day is coming.
The Abramoff scandal is a very active investigation and it is flying far below the radar. One gets the sense that the professionals in the Department of Justice who have been investigating this scandal are waiting out the Bush Administration to minimize political interference and any possible pardons Bush might hand out to his co-conspirators as he leaves office. The US Attorney in Maryland had to be tasked with investigating the DOJ in Washington DC because Abramoff and his team had infiltrated the Justice Department. There is evidence in the Abramoff billing records, documents released from Court cases and from Congressional investigations that former Attorney General John Ashcroft may have exposure is the scandal. Two of his former staffers are involved. One has pleaded guilty and the other has been indicted, his trial should begin later this year.

It probably won’t affect too many elected Republican officials, but the Republican power structure could be eviscerated. A chunk of their corporate lobbying structure–which is intertwined with the GOP’s fundraising capacity–could wind up in jail. The rest will be running scared–there are better ways to make money.
Of course, once this happens, the Villagers will have to rally around their own. I’m guessing we’ll hear the defense that Democrats and Republicans have gone from government to lobbying. It will never occur to the morally bankrupt punditocracy that, since this kind of corruption is so widespread, it’s time someone set the precedent of going to jail for this behavior.

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2 Responses to Forget Madoff, It’s the Abramoff Scandal That Will Rock the Capitol in 2009

  1. Art says:

    It has long been popular wisdom, and quite true, that a man in a suit using a pen steals more and gets away with it more often than a man wearing a ski mask and using a gun.
    For the elites outright theft, insider trading and rank corruption are seen as: innovative allocation of business resources, market return optimization, and customary and constructive engagement with the political system.
    Never mind effect on the nation can resemble the effects of carpet bombing as resource streams are disrupted, businesses, jobs and lives destroyed. It is the little people who get whipsawed and stepped on.
    When caught, the few that do any time at all, will spend a few years working on their tans, reading list and backhand at a minimum security prison in a pleasant climate. From what I read having a conviction doesn’t carry much of a stigma in the business world. Some carry it as a badge of honor that they pushed ‘innovation’ and were martyred by the unimaginative and draconian regulatory regime.
    As much as I would love to see those cretins suffer and hereafter crippled in their ability to interact with the business or government I don’t see that as a likely outcome.
    Business and the elite community that feeds off its profits has adopted the attitude that corruption, gaming the system, and graft are normal and necessary to maintain profits cover up losses quarter to quarter. Getting caught, a few of their number doing time and multimillion dollar fines(with no admission of guilt of course)are the cost of doing business with the big boys.
    So it goes.

  2. Kenneth says:

    Abramoff appears to have an association with madoff. Both, along with many others involved in the collapse of the USA can only be described by the foretelling words of Shakespeare; ” Certainly, the Jew is the very Devil incarnation”

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