DeLay charges may be overshadowed by Abramoff probe

A PoliZeros Prediction: Abramoff will become the central figure in all of this.

Abramoff had tentacles everywhere; Tyco, Tom DeLay, indian
reservations. He and his partner have been indicted for cooking the
books in a casino buy, and associates were just arrested for murdering
the person they bought the casino from. More indictments could be
coming. When fixers like Abramoff fall, they take a lot of people down
with them. Tom Delay, this Bloomberg article points out, could have far more to fear from the Abramoff probe than from his current indictment.

The larger legal
challenge for DeLay may center on a task force led by the U.S. Justice
Department that is investigating Jack Abramoff, the indicted lobbyist
who boasted of his relationship with DeLay.

Even as DeLay faces the charge in Texas state court in connection with
corporate donations that allegedly were used to help fund the
Republican takeover of the state legislature in 2002, “he is inevitably
also going to be under investigation by federal prosecutors” in the
Abramoff matter, said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for
Responsibility and Ethics, a Washington watchdog group that has
criticized DeLay.

DeLay, 58, who stepped down temporarily as House majority leader after
being indicted, once called Abramoff “one of my closest and dearest
friends.” He has traveled to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana
Islands, an Abramoff client, on trips organized by Abramoff’s law firm
and has blocked efforts to apply U.S. minimum wage and labor laws to
the Marianas.

He also sided with another Abramoff client, Tyco International Inc., in
opposing efforts to stop federal contracts from going to the
Bermuda-based company and other firms that have incorporated overseas
to cut their tax bills while maintaining their business in the U.S.

Abramoff was indicted in August by a federal grand jury in Florida in
connection with the purchase of a casino cruise line, SunCruz Casino
Ltd., in 2000. Separately, the Senate Indian Affairs Committee has
started an investigation of him and partner Michael Scanlon — a former
DeLay aide — for their lobbying activities on behalf of
casino-operating Indian tribes.

2 charged with mob-style killing of businessman

Two of three men
charged with the mob-style killing of a businessman a few months after
he sold a fleet of casino boats to Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff
were ordered held without bond Wednesday.

You can bet a whole lot of bottom dwellers, corrupt politicians and
judges, thuggish CEOs, and lizard lawyers are seriously nervous that an
Abramoff investigation could make them collateral damage and prison
bound. Thus, some will tell all to avoid just that. Watching the rats
turn on each other will be grisly entertainment indeed.

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