Opinion: Abramoff didn't defraud tribal clients
"Prosecutors, even when they are aware of it, investigate and indict a fraction of those who commit a felony. Typically, they prosecute only those who are unpopular or highly visible and powerful. Jack Abramoff, whose crimes were essentially minor infractions, was an example of selective prosecution.

I conducted an exhaustive and independent investigation of the Washington lobbying scandal, in which I had unconditional and unfettered access to Abramoff and many documents never released to the public. I concluded that The Washington Post, which broke the story, and Sen. John McCain, the head of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, were less than truthful in what they reported to the public about Abramoff.

I also concluded that Abramoff did not defraud his Indian clients. He did not bribe any appointed or elected officials. Since he gave away a huge proportion of his income to charity, he was not guilty of tax fraud. And he would have never been found guilty of wire fraud in Florida, since he knew nothing about the forged $21 million wire transfer upon which the wire fraud was based.

He did give away sports tickets and free meals to some lawmakers and appointed officials. He did partially subsidize several golf trips. In return, he was able to plead the interests of his clients to lawmakers and staff, which is what a lobbyist is hired to do. And he did receive some inconsequential favors, such as the placement of remarks in the obscure Congressional Records Extensions and the insertion of a rider to a moving piece of legislation that would have allowed an obscure El Paso Indian tribe to re-open its casino."

Get the Story:
Gary S. Chafetz: Selective Prosecution (The Huffington Post 5/5)

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