Old Emails Lead Federal Investigators to Widen Abramoff Corruption Probe to Include Former Bush Officials

News broke today of a new twist in the Jack Abramoff corruption probe, as federal investigators have identified former Bush administration officials as targets. Grand jury testimony and old emails apparently have led the DOJ to former officials from the Department of Interior, expanding the probe and adding to a list that already includes former Rep. Bob Ney (R., Ohio), who admitted last fall to having accepted gifts in exchange for government action.  Several Capitol Hill staffers and a former Bush official also have pleaded guilty or been convicted in the case.  An attorney with the Justice Department, who apparently had or has a dating relationship with one of the targets named today, resigned abruptly yesterday.

The allegations disclosed today relate to allegations of lying before Congress and violations of a 1988 law entitling citizens to receive “honest services” from public officials. The charges trace back to an exchange of emails that contradict testimony before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and involve the apparent receipt of “hundreds of thousands” of dollars of questionable “donations.”

Though first reported in the Washington Post, the story is reported also in today’s Wall Street Journal.

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