Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Scanlon Pleads

Former Tom DeLay aide Michael Scanlon entered a guilty plea Monday in federal court to charges of "conspiring to bribe a member of Congress and other public officials." He also agreed to pay $19.6 million in restitution to the Indian tribes he bilked out of lobbying fees. Scanlon's plea will be key in federal charges to be filed against uber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, his former business partner.

It also may affect investigations into whether members of Congress accepted quid pro quo deals from the Scanlon/Abramoff crowd: not only has Tom DeLay's name been associated with the duo, but many other representatives may also find themselves on the hot seat. Bob Ney of Ohio seems to be at the top of that list for the moment, but who knows how things will shake out in the end.

This is an important step forward in uncovering yet another layer of the Abramoff sleaze-machine. Where it will stop, nobody knows.


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