Independent Christian Voice

Monday

Corruption inquiry threatens to ensnare prominent members of Congress

From The New York Times:
The Justice Department has signaled for the first time in recent weeks that prominent members of Congress could be swept up in the corruption investigation of Jack Abramoff, the former Republican superlobbyist who diverted some of his tens of millions of dollars in fees to provide lavish travel, meals and campaign contributions to the lawmakers whose help he needed most. The investigation by a federal grand jury, which began more than a year ago, has created alarm on Capitol Hill, especially with the announcement Friday of criminal charges against Michael Scanlon, Mr. Abramoff's former lobbying partner and a former top House aide to Representative Tom DeLay.

The charges against Mr. Scanlon identified no lawmakers by name, but a summary of the case released by the Justice Department accused him of being part of a broad conspiracy to provide "things of value, including money, meals, trips and entertainment to federal public officials in return for agreements to perform official acts" - an attempt at bribery, in other words, or something close to it. [...] Scholars who specialize in the history and operations of Congress say that given the brazenness of Mr. Abramoff's lobbying efforts, as measured by the huge fees he charged clients and the extravagant gifts he showered on friends on Capitol Hill, almost all of them Republicans, the investigation could end up costing several lawmakers their careers, if not their freedom. The investigation threatens to ensnarl many outside Congress as well, including Interior Department officials and others in the Bush administration who were courted by Mr. Abramoff on behalf of the Indian tribe casinos that were his most lucrative clients. The inquiry has already reached into the White House; a White House budget official, David H. Safavian, resigned only days before his arrest in September on charges of lying to investigators about his business ties to Mr. Abramoff, a former lobbying partner. [more]

The White House and the GOP have proven the age-old saying, "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely." Intoxicated by the power that comes with one-party rule, the bribery and corruption became more brazen, blinded by arrogance and a firm belief that power has its privileges. For eight years (and even lingering to this day), the Republicans lambasted the Clinton administration for its pervasive corruption. To some degree it was justified. However, as Jesus said — you know that person that you Republicans say you know better than Democrats — "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" (Matthew 7:3). Any corruption in the Clinton administration is a molehill to the mountain of corruption that pervades today's federal government. What a disgrace.

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