In this, the week of ethical trial decisions, proceedings did not fare well for the defendants.
- The trial of Kevin Ring, the only Abramoff associate to try his luck in court, came to an end Monday, when a jury found him guilty of five felony counts of corruption. Ring took eleven congressional aides and Bush administration officials down with him, along with nine others.
- Tom DeLay, the former Speaker of the House charged with money laundering and conspiracy, did not take the stand in his own defense before his attorney rested his case. Though the case is largely circumstantial, several witness testimonies have implicated DeLay as having been involved in, or at minimum knowledgeable about, the transactions. Closing arguments are scheduled for Monday.
- Rep. Charles Rangle (D-NY) was found guilty of 11 charges, including improperly soliciting lobbying funds and failing to disclose income and assets.
- Though facing investigation, and not actually on trial, conservative backers of American Principles in Action received negative press for not disclosing funds spent on Latino outreach this past election. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington is concerned that the group may have exploited the Citizens United decision beyond the Court’s initial intent.
Tags: American Principles in Action, Charles Rangel, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethic in Washington, Citizens United, corruption, CREW, Jack Abramoff, Kevin Ring, Tom DeLay