Jury selection begins in Abramoff scandal case
Jury selection begins this morning in the case of Kevin Ring, one of jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff's former associates.

Ring has been indicted on 10 felony counts of fraud, conspiracy and obstruction of justice. He is accused of plying lawmakers, their aides and government officials with gifts and of defrauding tribal clients, most notably Sandia Pueblo of New Mexico.

Witnesses in the trial include John Albaugh, the former chief of staff to former Rep. Ernie Istook (R-Oklahoma). Albaugh pleaded guilty to accepting gifts from Ring in exchange for legislative favors.

Ring wants David Ayres, the former chief of staff to former attorney general John Ashcroft, to testify. Ayres helped secure $16.3 million for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Abramoff's top client but hasn't been charged in the scandal.

Ayres has indicated he will assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. The Department of Justice has refused to grant him immunity.

The trial takes place in Courtroom 14 of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Get the Story:
Ex-lawmaker Ernest Istook’s former aide to testify (The Oklahoman 9/7)
Ashcroft’s Chief of Staff Helped Secure Indian Funds (Main Justice 9/8)
Corruption trial begins for lobbyist (AP 9/8)

Relevant Documents:
DOJ Opposition | Indictment: US v Ring

Related Stories:
Former DOJ official tied to Abramoff investigation (9/4)
Former Abramoff associate headed to trial (08/14)
Judge won't dismiss charges in Abramoff case (06/26)
DOJ attorney removed from Abramoff case (6/19)
Prosecutor pulled from case of Abramoff associate (04/21)
Another lobbyist charged in Abramoff scandal (9/9)