Re: Republican administration's ex Justice official charged in Abramoff lobbying probe
- From: California Poppy <GoldenStatePoppy@xxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2008 08:59:50 -0700 (PDT)
On Apr 22, 10:12 am, Harry Hope <riv...@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
From The Associated Press, 4/21/08:http://www.rawstory.com/news/mochila/Former_Justice_official_charged_...
Former Justice Department official charged in Jack Abramoff lobbying
A former high-ranking Justice Department official was accused Monday
of criminal conflict of interest in the latest case stemming from the
investigation of disgraced GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Robert Coughlin was deputy chief of staff of the Justice Department's
criminal division — the same division handling the Abramoff probe —
before resigning a year ago, citing personal reasons.
He was due in federal court in Washington on Tuesday for a plea
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
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
At the time Coughlin worked for the Justice Department's office of
legislative affairs and its office of intergovernmental and public
liaison, 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
Attorneys for Coughlin declined comment and Ring's attorney didn't
immediately return a call for comment.
The investigation of Coughlin's conduct was handled by federal
prosecutors in Maryland because of his ties at Justice Department
The document filed in court Monday is known as an information and is
normally filed as part of a plea deal.
Ring and Coughlin worked together for John Ashcroft when he was a
Republican senator from Missouri, before he became attorney general in
Ring lobbied Coughlin and other Justice Department officials on a
variety of issues, including getting federal money for a jail for the
The Justice Department probe of Abramoff and his team of lobbyists has
led to convictions of a dozen people, including former Rep. Bob Ney,
R-Ohio, and former Deputy Interior Secretary Steven Griles.
At least one current member of Congress, Rep. John Doolittle,
R-Calif., remains under investigation.
Ring worked for Doolittle, who is retiring from Congress at the end of
this year, before going to work for Abramoff.
Abramoff is serving prison time for a criminal case out of Florida and
has not yet been sentenced on charges of mail fraud, conspiracy and
tax evasion stemming from the influence-peddling scandal in
Lordy, another Republican scandal that just keeps giving and giving
I don't think that lobbying or Abramoff are our biggest problems. I
object the amount of time and our tax money spent on it.
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