In case you were asking yourself, "Is it possible that the Scanlon plea will lead to more activity in the Abramoff investigation?", the answer is yes, indeedy.
Prosecutors have already told one lawmaker, Rep. Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio), and his former chief of staff that they are preparing a possible bribery case against them, according to two sources knowledgeable about the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity.Clearly, Santa has decided that I have been a very good girl this year. Thw WaPo is reporting that Tom Delay, Conrad Burns, and John Doolittle, among many others, are under increased scrutiny, along with members of the Administration.
The 35 to 40 investigators and prosecutors on the Abramoff case are focused on at least half a dozen members of Congress....The investigators are looking at payments made by Abramoff and his colleagues to the wives of some lawmakers and at actions taken by senior Capitol Hill aides, some of whom went to work for Abramoff....
Prosecutions and plea deals have become more likely, the lawyers said, now that Abramoff's former partner -- public relations executive Michael Scanlon -- has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy and to testify about gifts that he and his K Street colleagues showered on lawmakers, allegedly in exchange for official favors.
As I explained here and here, Scanlon's cooperation is likely to be the straw that breaks the cooperation camel's back for a lot of lawmakers. Scanlon flipping opens the door wide to the possibility of a lot of felony prosecutions, by providing the investigators a direct link and testimony on pre-legislation deals, bribes and other improper conduct.
Another Delay indictment in my stocking would be lovely, but throwing in so many more members of Congress and the Administration, all wrapped up in a tidy little bow? I'm giddy.
According to the article, Ney, his former chief of staff Neil Volz, Jack Abramoff, and another Abramoff partner, Adam Kidan, have all been notified that they are targets in the matter. And there are more than 40 members of the investigative/prosecutorial team still working the case.
I'm stocking up on popcorn. And did I mention that Fitz is still working, too? Ooooh, I have been a good girl this year.
Kevin Drum has more from the WSJ. And Josh Marshall has this tidbit on the SunCruz murder investigation -- one of the hit guys is implicating Kidan.