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Friday, November 25, 2005

Now This Is How It's Done

According to the AP, Michael Scanlon has agreed to testify against Jack Abramoff in his SunCruz indictment case, in exchange for Scanlon receiving consideration for a reduced sentence depending on his level of cooperation. This is a very common practice with prosecutors: flipping a subordinate to rat out the next level up.

In Scanlon's case, the next level up is a Pandora's box of Republican KStreet power brokers and elected officials.
In his plea agreement, Mr. Scanlon admitted helping Mr. Abramoff and Mr. Kidan buy SunCruz by persuading Representative Bob Ney, Republican of Ohio, to insert comments into the Congressional Record that were "calculated to pressure the then-owner to sell on terms favorable" to the two men.
It is clear to me that prosecutors are now pressuring Ney to cough up another Congressional hairball -- perhaps Delay, given how entwined his PAC arrangements and Abramoff's skybox bonanza had gotten.

The NYTimes has an additional article regarding the prosecution of these types of cases. (Covered earlier on FDL here.) Here's my question for the NYTimes: Are Joe DeGenova and Victoria Toensing -- the Boris and Natasha of the GOP attorney shill machine -- the only two attorneys that you have on speed dial?

For pete's sake, can you at least publicly identify them as the GOP activists that they are, instead of giving them some sort of neutral quoting cover? It is wrong to pretend that these two are anything but partisans, and you do your readership an enormous disservice by pretending otherwise. (Josh Marshall has much more.)

Whatever the shill position might be, the fact is that the DoJ's public corruption unit has at least one insider in their pocket on this, with more negotiating as I type. In this sort of case, flipping an insider is how it's done. Looks like Boris and Natasha have lost again.