This week, Robert Coughlin, a former DOJ official, was accused of having a “criminal conflict of interest” with jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Today, Coughlin admitted in federal court “that he accepted meals, concert tickets and luxury eats at sporting events from a lobbyist,” facing “up to 10 months in prison under a plea deal with the government.” “The lobbyist was not named but Coughlin was lobbied during the period in question by Kevin Ring, a member of Abramoff’s lobbying team who also is under investigation,” the AP notes.
Stories tagged with “Jack Abramoff”
The AP reports that a Robert Coughlin, former deputy chief of staff of the Justice Department’s criminal division, “was accused Monday of criminal conflict of interest in the latest case stemming from the investigation of disgraced GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff.” Coughlin resigned a year ago for “personal reasons”:
Prosecutors accused Coughlin in court papers Monday of providing assistance from 2001-2003 to a lobbyist and the lobbyist’s firm while receiving gifts from the firm and discussing prospective employment there.
The lobbyist isn’t named but The Associated Press has previously reported that Coughlin was lobbied during the period in question by Kevin Ring, a member of Abramoff’s lobbying team who also is under investigation. At the time Coughlin worked for the Justice Department’s office of legislative affairs and Ring worked for Abramoff’s Greenberg Traurig firm.
Coughlin talked with Ring about going to work for Greenberg, according to an attorney with knowledge of the case who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation. Ring also provided Coughlin with meals and tickets to events, the AP has reported.
TPM Muckraker has more.
In 1999, then-Congressman Bob Schaffer — who is now running to replace retiring Sen. Wayne Allard (R-CO) — went on “a fact-finding mission” to the Marianas Islands in order “to get to the bottom of repeated allegations of labor abuse in the American protectorate.” But, according to the Denver Post, Schaffer’s trip “was partly arranged by the firm of now-jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who represented textile factory owners fighting congressional efforts to reform labor and immigration laws on the islands and who was being handsomely paid to keep the islands’ cherished exemptions.” Unsurprisingly, Schaffer came away from the trip supporting Abramoff’s clients and “believing that allegations of widespread abuse were largely unfounded.”
Last year, former congressman J.D. Hayworth faced intense scrutiny from federal investigators over his ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. On his blog, Hayworth now states that he has outstanding legal fees of “hundreds of thousands of dollars” and asks for donations:
A false charge of corruption is more than “political dynamite”; it is also “personal kryptonite.”
Your humble blogger speaks from personal experience. [...]
As a result, I still have outstanding legal bills that total in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
That’s why “The Freedom in Truth Trust” has been established. Its name comes from holy scripture (”You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”–John 8:32), and its acronym (FIT) is accurate, since this entire episode has given us fits!
As a congressman, Hayworth was less willing to embrace the blogosphere, claiming that terrorists used “cheap shots” in the blogosphere “to their own advantage.”