Look closer. Think harder. Choose the sound argument over the clever one.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Jack Abramoff, sleazebag

Via Michelle Malkin:

[AP:] Lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal charges of conspiracy, tax evasion and mail fraud, clearing the way for him to cooperate in a massive government investigation of influence peddling involving members of Congress.

Good!

[Christian Science Monitor:] Federal campaign records show that about 220 members of Congress received some $1.7 million in political contributions from Abramoff and his associates and clients, including American Indian tribes, between 2001 and 2004. According to Bloomberg news service, 201 of those members are still in Congress; Republicans received 64 percent of that money.

Since the whiff of scandal began to emerge around Abramoff, members have been rushing to return his contributions or donate the money to charity. But not everyone who ever took Abramoff-related money or perks is guilty of wrongdoing.

[Malkin:] But principled conservatives must call Abramoff what he is--a sleazebag plain and simple, as I've noted before--and condemn his criminal activities unequivocally.

Let's see how this plays out. I hope the investigation is massive (as they suggest), and equally careful. Let's see who saw through him, who stood up to him, who came to their senses and when.

Mary Katharine Ham:

This is going to become such a huge mixture of soap opera plots and corruption sprinkled with a couple mini-media scandals, all folded in on itself again and again.

Sounds about right to me, given today's political hysteria and hyperbole.

Cap'n Ed: "The corruption will have followed both [parties] in proportion to their power. Expect to see enough takedowns to thoroughly embarrass everyone."

- - - - - - -

Update 1/4: Powerline: "The information that was filed yesterday ... seems surprisingly thin. ... Time will tell how much ... is smoke, and how much is fire."

Update 1/9: Forty of forty five members of the Democrat Senate Caucus took money from Jack Abramoff, his associates, and Indian tribe clients. (HT: PowerLine.)

Update 1/12: Investigators are focusing on five "top tier" suspects: 3 Republicans, 2 Democrats, including Harry Reid. And here's a list of contributions. (HT: Instapundit.)


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