Another Abramoff plea
But now the honeymoon is over.
Italia Federici, an ally of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, pleaded guilty Friday to tax evasion and obstructing a Senate investigation into the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.
Federici's plea was part of a deal with the Justice Department that two people close to the case said could lead investigators to officials in Congress and the Bush administration.
Federici served as a go-between for Abramoff, who currently is in prison, and J. Steven Griles, a deputy Interior secretary who also has pleaded guilty to lying to Senate investigators.
She also embezzled money from a lobbying group she co-founded -- the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy -- and didn't bother to pay income taxes for three years. Sounds like a real charmer.
Her testimony could implicate Democrats as well as Republicans, of course. But the odds don't favor the Republicans. Besides her distinctly Republican ties, the GOP was the majority party at the time, and lobbyists would naturally have directed most of their efforts -- and bribes, if that was their modus operandi -- at Republicans. So expect this to lead to yet another crop of really bad headlines for Republicans.
Federici, Abramoff, corruption, politics, midtopia