This post began early on Tuesday and is in vaguely chronological order…

CNN Breaking News — Lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a close associate of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, to plead guilty to corruption, other charges, source tells CNN.

According to the New York Times, Abramoff will plead guilty to 3 felony counts: “fraud, public corruption and tax evasion, setting the stage for prosecutors to begin using him as a cooperating witness against his former business and political colleagues.” In Florida “he is pleading guilty to fraud and conspiracy in connection with his purchase of the SunCruz casino boat line”

Atrios commentary

Washington Post coverage (4 pp.)

(via Ohio News Now) from White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan.

NPR coverage: Abramoff Reaches Deal, to Cooperate with Fed Probe

Audio for this story is now available online.

Powerful lobbyist Jack Abramoff has reportedly reached a deal with federal prosecutors investigating his wide-ranging influence on Capitol Hill. Abramoff will plead guilty to criminal charges involving the purchase of a fleet of gambling boats in Florida, and is also cooperating in federal investigations of lawmakers who allegedly received favors from him or his clients. Alex Chadwick talks with Ari Shapiro…

Related NPR Stories Today:
* Abramoff Plea Reverberates Throughout Capitol Hill
* Advocacy Group Links Abramoff, DeLay

AMERICAblog has posted the indictments online.

AMERICAblog has posted the plea bargain agreement online.

AMERICAblog on McClellan’s comments.

Commentary from Pam’s House Blend

Commentary from Shakespeare’s Sister

The Washington Post‘s 12/31/05 article: The DeLay-Abramoff Money Trail

Commentary from Michelle Malkin

Commentary from

Think Progress: The House That Jack Built

Wednesday Morning’s New York Times NEWS ANALYSIS: Tremors Across Washington as Lobbyist Will Aid Inquiry – Jack Abramoff’s plea deal has thrust him into the role of a corporate insider turning against the company.

Wednesday Morning’s Washington Post Analysis: Shock Waves Down K Street – Abramoff’s plea has the capital asking what other careers and ways of doing business are at risk.

Wednesday Morning’s Washington Post Editorial: Mr. Abramoff’s Plea

Joe at AMERICAblog on Abramoff’s Political Impact.

AP (via the New York Times): Bush to Give Away Abramoff Donations

MAUREEN DOWD in TimesSelect: It’s Not Personal, Jack, It’s Strictly Business

Just because this is a scale of amorality and blatant sale of government that astonishes even Washington cynics, why look on the dark side?

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  • Elrod

    Well, this should be interesting. Over 200 Congressmen took Abramoff’s money to some degree or another. Most of those did nothing illegal in doing so, but a sizable number did violate various laws. Watching the Congress twist and turn over who went over what line is going to be very entertaining.

  • DougJ

    This is a big non-issue. No one outside the Beltway cares about this from a political perspective. But to connect Abramoff with DeLay, Ney, etc. is just Dean-Sheehan skullduggery. Abramoff is a corrupt guy, but both parties are equally guilty. DeLay wasn’t friends with him: Abramoff had a yarmulke and a full beard — would DeLay be friends with someone like that?

    And for the party of Tammany Hall to try to make the corruption issue their own? Bring it on!

  • Holly in Cincinnati

    Actually, the Abramoff-DeLay connection has been of great concern to those of us outside the Beltway for quite some time.

  • Jim

    I thought Delay and Abramoff had dinner together a few times. Didn’t they also play golf together in Scotland? Sounds like a decent relationship. I don’t think I’d go to Scotland on an all expenses paid trip w/ someone I barely know. Down here in Dallas, its been on the radar a long time. Its in the paper on a weekly basis in one form or another. I’m not sure about Houston, but I’m guessing its in the papers there as well.

  • DougJ

    Jim, you’re saying you wouldn’t take a trip to St. Andrews just because you didn’t know the guy who was organizing it? I guess you’re not much of a golfing fan. That course is legendary — anybody who loves the game would leap at the opportunity to go, whether they knew the organizer of the trip or not.

  • AustinRoth

    If there is one place that bi-partisanship is alive and well it is in the willingness of the majority of Congress to enrich themselves and their campaigns coffers ahead of all other considerations. This is nothing new, and has been the case since the very first Congresses of the United States, and even the Continental Congresses before them.

    You will not see any hard-hitting Congressional action here, only window-dressing actions to protect the incumbents. They may pass some new ‘reform’ laws, but with well-calculated and defined loopholes.

    Does anyone think that either party has enough backbone or incentive to truly change the money equation? Hell no. Most of our worthy public servants, truth be told, are in it only for themselves.

    “It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.” (Mark Twain)

  • Jim

    My point was that Mr. Delay and Mr. Abramoff are closer than you are willing to admit. Actually I’m a golfing fan, and would love to play there. My score would range in the 150s or so, but that would give me a good price per swing. Difference is, I’m not a politician, and its not illegal or unethical to have someone pay for my trip, is it not? I’m under the impression that it was both unethical and possibly illegal? Am I wrong there? It also shows a pattern of how close Delay and Abramoff were. To see how close Delay and Abramoff were you could also read here:

    p.s. If you’ll pay for the trip..I’ll go! But I gotta get permission from my wife.

  • Elrod

    Alright, I’m convinced that DougJ is not a real person.

    You are correct that corruption is endemic in both parties. But it so happens that the Republican Party has been in power on the Hill for 12 years, and overall the past 5 years.

  • AustinRoth

    Elrod –

    In this case, do not take my post to be any type of justification or defense of the Rupublicans. It is truly just a cynical comment on what non-reform measures to expect, and in this case specifically from the Republicans.

    They are in power now, and they deserve the lion’s share of the blame and consequences, however minimal they will likely turn out to be (there more of that damn cynicism coming out).

    It is doubly true as the inital Republican sweep into office was to return ethics to Government. Snicker, giggle, snort.

    Well, that was certainly just another re-telling of the scorpion and the frog crossing the river, wasn’t it? Democratic scorpions, Republican scorpions, they just can’t help their nature, can they?

  • DougJ

    Alright, I’m convinced that DougJ is not a real person.

    And you are? My “stupid” views make me not a real person, but you’re “wise” views make you that much more real. What a joke. Is that the reality-based reasoning that we always hear about?

  • Elrod

    It’s good to see the conservative blogosphere angry at this. Conservatives who took back Washington in 1994 should be outraged.

    I read somewhere else (can’t remember where) that there is a typical cycle of politicians.

    1. Idealists – Vow to shake things up in Washington.
    2. Pragmatists – Once you get there, you realize you have to deal with “reality”
    3. Cynics – You find that serving the big interests in your home district/state is more important than the big ideals
    4. Corrupt sleazebags – The big interests take you over and you sell access and votes to donors…

    Then you get thrown out by the next generation of idealists. Rinse and repeat.

    The 1974 Democrats went through this cycle. The 1994 Republicans seem to have gone through this cycle.

    OK, you’re real.

  • DougJ

    Elrod, of course people are angry at Jack Abramoff. He’s a criminal, pure and simple. But some are also angry at the media’s attempts to portray this as a “Republican scandal.”

  • Ryan

    If this is not a Republican scandal, as of now at least, feel free to name one Democrat who has been implicated. Several names are floating around, as of now all are Republicans.

    TITLE: Abramoff pleads guilty
    BLOG NAME: Sister Toldjah
    Just who will he take down with him? The usual suspects are foaming at the mouth that it will be Tom DeLay, but assuming that happens, he wouldn’t and shouldn’t be the only one. This chart breaks down how Abramoff spread the ‘we…