When I read the news about Bob Ney yesterday, I thought to myself “that can’t be good news for Conrad.” It’s clearly too early to speculate, but the constant Burns’ claim that he is not under investigation aren’t terribly credible. From Time magazine:
A source close to the investigation told TIME that scores of US prosecutors and FBI agents continue to examine the activities of other sitting members of Congress and prominent individuals who could face prosecution, though not necessarily before the November 7 election. The source confirmed previous public reports that particular scrutiny is being paid to Sen. Conrad Burns, a Montana Republican who faces a tough campaign for reelection.
The analysis cements my thought process last night. Ney was charged with and admitted to exactly what we already know Burns has done. Again, from Time:
“A lot of the conduct to which Ney has pleaded guilty is similar to the alleged conduct of Senator Conrad Burns and his staff,” points out Melanie Sloan, Executive Director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a non-profit watchdog group. “Abramoff has said that Burns and his staff used Signatures [Abramoff’s restaurant] like their cafeteria. And Burns took a number of legislative actions on Abramoff’s behalf, even as members of his staff went on trip to the 2001 Super Bowl on private jet and visited Sun Cruise gambling ships, which were partly owned by Abramoff. “Abramoff himself said in an interview earlier this year, “Every appropriation we wanted [from Burns’s committee] we got. Our staffs were as close as they could be. They practically used Signatures as their cafeteria. I mean, it’s a little difficult for him to run from that record.”
It is touching to see the kind of faith the Burns people have in the Justice Department. Erik’s Iverson’s defense? The Department of Justice is just playing politics. Yeah, that Department of Justice.
I hope Connie looks good in stripes. There’s no first class in prison, though.