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Abramoff Pleads Guilty in Florida

Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty today in Florida.

The plea agreement calls for a maximum sentence of just over seven years, but that sentence could be reduced if Abramoff cooperates fully and would run simultaneously with whatever sentence is imposed in the Washington corruption case. The remaining four counts in the Florida indictment will be dismissed.

Other big Abramoff news today is that the Bush reelection campaign is turning over $6,000 it took from Abramoff to charity.

Abramoff raised at least $100,000 for the Bush-Cheney '04 re-election campaign, earning the honorary title "pioneer" from the campaign. But the campaign is giving up only $6,000 directly from Abramoff, his wife and one of the Indian tribes that he worked to win influence for in Washington. The money is being donated to the American Heart Association.

Also giving up money received from Abramoff: Tom DeLay and Roy Blunt:

The Texas Republican received at least $57,000 in political contributions from Abramoff, his lobbying associates or his tribal clients between 2001 and 2004. DeLay is now awaiting trial in Texas on charges of laundering campaign money used in races for the state legislature.

Blunt, a Missouri Republican whose political action committee received $8,500 from Abramoff between 1999 and 2003, plans to give that much to charity, a spokeswoman said.

The Department of Justice has this press release up on yesterday's Abramoff plea. Check here for newer DOJ press releases The Washington Post has a nice chart called Copping a Plea. Howard Kurtz does a wrap of yesterday's blog coverage.

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  • Re: Abramoff Pleads Guilty in Florida (none / 0) (#1)
    by nolo on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 11:07:22 AM EST
    Dag. Shouldn't the $6000 go back to Abramoff so Abramoff can use it to make restitution to all the folks he ripped off?

    Re: Abramoff Pleads Guilty in Florida (none / 0) (#2)
    by Punchy on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 11:23:14 AM EST
    I'm not a lawyer, but this just seems outrageous (I'm hoping TL will comment on this somemore): He's facing THIRTY, and they've maxed it at 7! FOUR counts dismissed? Is this normal to have 4 counts--felonies, I'm assuming--and >75% of your jail time eliminated for a plea bargain? I know the gov't wants him to sing, but that seems like the gov't sold more than it had to just to get him to "cooperate", which in itself is a subjective behavior... I'd have to hope that he's now FORCED to help in a big way for such an incredible (to a non-lawyer like myself) deal. Perhaps this is the way it always is with pleas, being the gov't doesn't have to go to trial, but it really appears that by being a WORSE crook (i.e., having SO many illegal activities), he's being "rewarded" with LESS jail time simply because he can snitch about so many things involving so many people.

    Re: Abramoff Pleads Guilty in Florida (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 12:29:29 PM EST
    And in other big news related to the Abramoff scandal...........Harry Reid is sweating like an ethiopian marathoner.

    Re: Abramoff Pleads Guilty in Florida (none / 0) (#4)
    by Sailor on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 12:32:52 PM EST
    variable, you made a truly despicable remark. I would think you would have a better use for your 4 comments. BTW, jack donated zero $$ to dems. Made bushco pioneer status w/ over $100k raised and now little georgie can't recall his name;-)

    Re: Abramoff Pleads Guilty in Florida (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 12:49:56 PM EST
    BTW, jack donated zero $$ to dems.


    Re: Abramoff Pleads Guilty in Florida (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 12:50:57 PM EST
    Thats your story, huh, and your sticking to it?

    Re: Abramoff Pleads Guilty in Florida (none / 0) (#7)
    by Sailor on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 01:12:29 PM EST
    Campaign donations are public records maintained by the FEC. You can find the info searching the FEC database.

    Re: Abramoff Pleads Guilty in Florida (none / 0) (#8)
    by Che's Lounge on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 01:48:19 PM EST
    Punchy, For that deal he better sing like Kate Smith doing an impersonation of a canary on the first day of spring.

    Re: Abramoff Pleads Guilty in Florida (none / 0) (#9)
    by nolo on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 02:22:41 PM EST
    There's a good post here on Abramoff, his money, and donations to Democrats. It should clear some things up about the facts, as well as how the facts are being spun.

    Re: Abramoff Pleads Guilty in Florida (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 11:35:34 AM EST
    Apparently, I need some of that sh*t that Senator Durbin is smoking, because according to you, SAILOR, he's giving back about 12 grand that he never stole in the first place.

    Re: Abramoff Pleads Guilty in Florida (none / 0) (#11)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 11:51:13 AM EST
    Variable, I have a limited understanding of this issue, but I think that the distinction that some are making is that Abramoff has never personally given money to Democratic candidates, but that they were given his money through PACs and special interest groups which gave Abramoff no hand in deciding where his donations would go. So I think what that would mean is that Democrats do take special interest money, no surprise there, but that Abramoff personally did not give money to them.

    Re: Abramoff Pleads Guilty in Florida (none / 0) (#12)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 12:01:49 PM EST
    If Abramoff never gave money to the Democrats, why are the Democrats returning contributions they got through him? The next President of the United States, Hillary Rodham Clinton herself, is doing so.

    Re: Abramoff Pleads Guilty in Florida (none / 0) (#13)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 12:04:09 PM EST
    Yes I understand what you're saying, Punisher, but thats a pretty slack high wire don't ya think. The bottom line is, if there are crimes on the part of senators and congressmen, it is because the Indian groups successfully bought favorable policy from them, and whether or not Abramoff physically handed over the check or not, both democrats and republicans were on the receiving ends of the Indians attempts.

    Re: Abramoff Pleads Guilty in Florida (none / 0) (#14)
    by soccerdad on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 12:20:29 PM EST
    Although Kornblut amended her statement to claim that Abramoff "had his clients donate to Democrats," her comment falsely suggests that Republicans and Democrats are equally enmeshed in the scandal surrounding Abramoff. In fact, while Democrats have received contributions from Abramoff's lobbying groups and his clients, Kornblut's statement ignores the difference between accepting contributions from groups linked to Abramoff, which is legal and proper, and taking contributions in exchange for official actions, which is illegal, and which is at the heart of the ongoing investigations.
    link

    Re: Abramoff Pleads Guilty in Florida (none / 0) (#15)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 02:11:30 PM EST
    Variable: Yes I understand what you're saying, Punisher, but thats a pretty slack high wire don't ya think. Anyone who says that only Republicans and not Dems are being influenced by special interest money is deluding themselves. The fact that Abramoff personally gave only to GOP does not clear Dems of having been bought off by other interests. I'd add that if Dems were to take the moral high road and refuse special interest money, then that would leave even more money for the GOP who would then only have be kicking Dem butts even worse then they have been. Campaign finance reform?

    Re: Abramoff Pleads Guilty in Florida (none / 0) (#16)
    by swingvote on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 03:15:02 PM EST
    Why stop at special interest "money"? What about donations in kind, such as "volunteers" who work on campaigns or "get out the vote" efforts? Or soft-money donations from unions? Or perhaps even really crazy sounding stuff life sweet-heart fuel oil deals from foreign governments? Speaking of which, when any member of the Massachusetts delegation votes on anything in a way which is favorable to Venezuela, will that be considered here as a clear case of political payback?

    Re: Abramoff Pleads Guilty in Florida (none / 0) (#17)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 03:54:00 PM EST
    JP: Why stop at special interest "money"? Because this thread is called "Abramoff Pleads Guilty in Florida" so it's about Abramoff and special interest money.

    Re: Abramoff Pleads Guilty in Florida (none / 0) (#18)
    by swingvote on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 05:30:20 PM EST
    Punisher, Had I been attempting to "hijack the thread" onto that subject, you might have a point. I was merely pointing out that special interest "money" is only one symptom of the problem. But if you think that all Abramoff was peddling was money, I've got a swamp I can sell you.

    Re: Abramoff Pleads Guilty in Florida (none / 0) (#19)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 05:49:44 PM EST
    JP: Had I been attempting to "hijack the thread" onto that subject... What subject?

    Re: Abramoff Pleads Guilty in Florida (none / 0) (#20)
    by scarshapedstar on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 09:09:41 PM EST
    Anyone who says that only Republicans and not Dems are being influenced by special interest money is deluding themselves.
    Comparing "special interest money" to the K Street Project is like comparing a clogged drain to the Hoover Dam. Yes, they both hold back water, but one is intentional and several orders of magnitude larger.

    Re: Abramoff Pleads Guilty in Florida (none / 0) (#21)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 09:21:20 PM EST
    Scar, agreed.

    Re: Abramoff Pleads Guilty in Florida (none / 0) (#22)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 09:28:59 PM EST
    Scar: one is intentional and several orders of magnitude larger. Actually, I'll qualify that last "agreed." GOP benefits considerably more than Democrats from special interest money. I don't know if the difference is an order of magnitude or less or more. And I don't see in what way Republicans are any more or Democrats any less "intentional" in how they accept money from special interests.

    Re: Abramoff Pleads Guilty in Florida (none / 0) (#23)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 05:53:39 AM EST
    I think that the distinction that some are making is that Abramoff has never personally given money to Democratic candidates Punisher, The subject of this thread is Abramoff and special interest money. Why are you bringing up his personal donations?

    Re: Abramoff Pleads Guilty in Florida (none / 0) (#24)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 07:38:49 AM EST
    JP: Why are you bringing up his personal donations? If you think that Abramoff's personal donations are OT on a thread called "Abramoff Pleads Guilty in Florida" then you should feel free not to comment on his personal donations. I suppose that I found them relevent, so I did comment on them. You earlier asked me why I was discussing special interest money only, and the answer is that that's what I felt to be on topic, and relevent to this thread and my thought on the matter. You then got defensive and said that I was accusing you of trying to "hijack" the thread? I don't know what your problem is. You asked me why I "stopped" where I stopped. I told you. I never told you where you should stop. I'm not the last word on what is OT. I can only decide for myself and choose not to go there. You can talk about whatever you want. If TL thinks you're OT then she'll tell you so. If I don't respond to your further comments on this thread, it'll be nothing personal, but so far you've seemed to be trying to pick a fight that I don't see is there.