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Lobbyist cops plea

The week's news at a glance.

Washington, D.C.

In a potentially explosive deal that could uncover payoffs to powerful members of Congress, Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty this week to charges of fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy to bribe officials. In exchange for a reduced sentence of 9 ½ to 11 years in prison, Abramoff agreed to testify about the lawmakers he plied with lavish meals and trips as they considered legislation of interest to his clients. Ohio Republican Robert Ney has been identified as one recipient of Abramoff’s largess, but many others, including former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay as well as some Democrats, are known to have had dealings with him. The case could spark the largest congressional corruption scandal since the Abscam investigation about 25 years ago, in which seven lawmakers were convicted after accepting bribes from agents posing as Arab sheiks. Abramoff says he has information to implicate 60 lawmakers.

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