Today in Corruption
Speculation about the Fitzgerald investigation is quiet for the moment, but the Congressional corruption investigation is at a sexy, sexy tipping point. Which makes it seem like a good time for me to set aside Today in Speculation for a new occasional Slog series… Today in Corruption:
TODAY IN CORRUPTION
* Jack Abramoff, looking less like a mobster and more like a yuppie, was in Florida today pleading guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud charges. Yesterday, it was “guilty” to fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy to bribe public officials in Washington, D.C.
Why is the Republican lobbyist’s decision to plead guilty and cooperate with prosecutors such a big fucking deal? The Note puts it thusly:
So just how many members of Congress may be implicated by Jack Abramoff’s decision to provide information to investigators?
Wall Street Journal: “…could implicate 60 lawmakers”
New York Times: “a dozen lawmakers”
Washington Post: “…about half a dozen House and Senate members”
USA Today: “…at least 12 lawmakers”
New York Post: “… as many as 20 Congress members and staffers”
With Congressional elections just 11 months away, that’s very bad news for Republicans. It seems likely there will be a parade of conservative lawmakers going down or cutting deals with prosecutors, one after another, over the next few months—which will give more and more traction to the Democrats’ charge that Republicans have created a “Culture of Corruption” in D.C., and need to be booted out in the November elections.
This is too heavy a news day for Today in Corruption to do much more than refer you to The Note, which has already collected all of today’s juiciest news stories here. But stay tuned, we’ll be doing some noting of our own on this subject in the future.