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Abramoff said to discuss plea deal

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Jack Abramoff, the Republican lobbyist under criminal investigation, has been discussing with prosecutors a deal that would grant him a reduced sentence in exchange for testimony against former political and business associates, people with detailed knowledge of the case say, The New York Times will report. (Full story available to registered members here.

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Mr. Abramoff is believed to have extensive knowledge of what prosecutors suspect is a wider pattern of corruption among lawmakers and Congressional staff members. One participant in the case who insisted on anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations described him as a "unique resource."

Other people involved in the case or who have been officially briefed on it said the talks had reached a tense phase, with each side mindful of the date Jan. 9, when Mr. Abramoff is scheduled to stand trial in Miami in a separate prosecution.

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What began as a limited inquiry into $82 million of Indian casino lobbying by Mr. Abramoff and his closest partner, Michael Scanlon, has broadened into a far-reaching corruption investigation of mainly Republican lawmakers and aides suspected of accepting favors in exchange for legislative work.

Originally published on Tuesday December 20, 2005

 


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