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August 28, 2008

Jack Abramoff getting cooperator's benefit

This story, headlined "DOJ Seeks Reduced Sentence For Abramoff In D.C. Corruption Case," highlights in a high-profile setting the sentencing benefits of cooperating with the feds:

Federal prosecutors are seeking a reduced sentence for imprisoned GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff in a Washington, D.C., corruption case, citing his his "significant and useful" cooperation against other individuals involved in the scandal that brought down the one-time K Street superstar.

Prosecutors are seeking only a 64-month sentence for Abramoff in the D.C. corruption case, far less than the minimum 108 months behind bars he could have received under federal sentencing guidelines. Abramoff, who is already serving a 70-month prison term in a Florida fraud case, is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 4 in the D.C. case.

The Washington Post is reporting that Abramoff "would serve no more than another three years and three months in prison, not accounting for credit for good behavior awarded by the Bureau of Prisons," meaning he could be out by late 2011, and possibly a year earlier if Abramoff's attorneys are successful in winning further reductions.

Abramoff's assistance to DOJ and FBI investigators "has exposed significant misconduct by others in and out of public office and revealed to law enforcement officials and the public the manner and means used by government officials to game the system for private advantage in violation of criminal, regulatory, and ethical laws and rules," prosecutors said in a pre-sentencing memo filed today. According to Abramoff's attorney. their client has spent more than 3,000 hours meeting with more than 100 federal investigators.

August 28, 2008 at 07:44 AM | Permalink


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Does anyone else need proof of just how corrupt the Justice Department is? It sure pays to have low friends in high places, especially if you helped put them there.

So he "has exposed significant misconduct by others"? Name me 3.

Posted by: babalu2u | Aug 28, 2008 11:01:43 AM

No. The DOJ is living up to its’ half of the bargain. If you want to blame someone, blame his lawyers, who, of course, were just doing their job.

Now, if Abramoff was *really* well connected, he never would have been indicted in the first place. Indeed, the best lawyers keep their clients names off their blog.

Posted by: S.cotus | Aug 28, 2008 11:15:27 AM

I mean
"Indeed, the best lawyers keep their clients names off THIS blog."

Posted by: S.cotus | Aug 28, 2008 11:17:22 AM

You can't blame his lawyers. They did their job and did it well. But I can think of someone else who didn't do their job. I'm just wondering what the payoff was/will be. And exactly what secrets and disgusting corrupt behavior will now never hit the light of day

Posted by: babalu | Aug 28, 2008 11:27:21 AM

Babalu, Okay, I give his lawyers credit.

If there was a “payoff” he never would have been indicted. But he was. He even went to jail. That isn’t an example of “good connections.” The very fact that his name appears on this blog shows that he lacked the necessary connections to survive in DC.

Instead, this case was litigated just like similar cases. The only possible difference is that the little people were informed about it via the press.

Posted by: S.cotus | Aug 28, 2008 11:39:10 AM

You're probably right (I can't believe I just wrote that, lol). And I finally RTFA to which Doug has provided a link and found that this guy has actually been of some use to the DOJ. But if you think about it I guess it's no surprise. If you're not a whore when you walk in those doors, if you're smart, you will be when you finally walk out.

Apparently, he can be wholly or partially credited for the convictions of a member of Congress, five high-level legislative branch officials, one high-level executive branch official, and two other mid- to low-level public officials, as well as ongoing matters," prosecutors wrote. This list includes: former Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio); Tony Rudy, a one-time top aide to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas); Neil Volz, Ney's former chief of staff and former lobbyist at Abramoff's firm; Will Heaton, another former Ney aide; and J. Steven Griles, former deputy secretary of the Interior Dept.

I guess that's worth something.

Posted by: babalu | Aug 28, 2008 12:15:21 PM

Actually, I think this is an ideal example of cooperation with the government. Many AUSAs and many local prosecutors don't realize that their reputations are based on fulfilling their half of the bargain. Likewise, in other prosecutions defendants are in real danger if they cooperate (or, as they say, "snitch") and some prosecutors are less than enthusiastic about protecting them.

Now, there are issues of whether he SHOULD have gotten the best deal or not, but I guess that is part of the injustice inherent in the system.

Posted by: S.cotus | Aug 28, 2008 12:25:11 PM

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