The Associated Press has the latest:
Federal prosecutors and lawyers for Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff are putting the finishing touches on a plea deal that could be announced as early as Tuesday, according to people familiar with the negotiations.If they're preparing cases against twenty congressmen, this thing is going to be bigger than we ever thought. Bigger than the check-kiting scandal that helped usher in the 1994 Republican tidal wave, bigger than the Abscam sting that brought down a half dozen congressmen in the early 1980s.
The plea agreement would secure the lobbyist's testimony against several members of Congress who received favors from him or his clients. Abramoff and a former partner were indicted in Miami in August on charges of conspiracy and fraud for allegedly lying about their assets to help secure financing to purchase a fleet of gambling boats.
For the past two weeks, pressure has been intensifying on Abramoff to strike a deal with prosecutors since his former business partner, Adam Kidan, pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy in connection with the 2000 SunCruz deal.
Abramoff's cooperation would be a boon to an ongoing Justice Department investigation of congressional corruption, possibly helping prosecutors build criminal cases against up to 20 lawmakers and their staff members.
Big. Gabby Hayes big.