And what timing: Documentary on scandal begins Friday
Three and a half years has passed since the incarceration of onetime Washington power-broker Jack Abramoff.
And as soon as this week, or next, Abramoff will he on his way out the doors of a federal prison and into a halfway house, where he will reside until he’s formally released.
Abramoff, 51, pled guilty to corrupting public officials and tax evasion in January 2006 and was sentenced to four years in jail. He bilked nearly $25 million from Indian tribes who sought influence with federal officials. Peter Stone, a veteran investigative journalist at National Journal, who has covered the scandal extensively, asserted in a little-noticed post late Friday that Abramoff was set to leave prison soon.
Abramoff is “expected to be transferred in the next week or two to a halfway house in the Baltimore area where he will stay for about six months, according to two sources familiar with his plans,” Stone wrote.
Abramoff became the poster child of what Democrats panned as a Republican “culture of corruption” that led to their takeover of the House in 2006.
RAW STORY also reported in depth on the Abramoff scandal in 2005 — and was the first to expose that Abramoff held a fundraiser for now-Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) in 2003. Abramoff wasn’t present at the event, the senator’s staff said, though another rising GOP leadership star was: Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), now the second-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives.
Raw Story also exposed the web between Abramoff and key lawmakers, who pushed a gambling agenda aimed at helping Abramoff’s Indian tribes. The site also focused on the role of General Services Administration chief David Safavian, who has since been convicted.
Stone notes that a Justice Department investigation into the lobbying scandal has nabbed “19 convictions of former Hill aides, lobbyists, members of the Bush administration and one member of Congress, Rep. Bob Ney R-Oh. (He served a 17 month prison term after pleading guilty to conspiracy and making false statements).”
“The Justice investigation,” he writes, “which has been underway for almost six years, is still continuing, albeit at a markedly slower pace than a few years ago.”
A documentary on the scandal, titled “Casino Jack,” is set to be screened this week in Michigan. A preview follows.