Top Abramoff investigator at Justice resigns in wake of scrutiny over … Abramoff ties

You simply must be kidding me.

Justice Dept official resigns over investigation connected with Abramoff
by Marisa Taylor and David Whitney
McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON – A senior Justice Department official has resigned after coming under scrutiny in the Department’s expanding investigation of convicted super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, according to a Justice Department official with knowledge of the case.

Making the situation more awkward for the embattled Department, the official, Robert E. Coughlin II, was deputy chief of staff for the criminal division, which is overseeing the Department’s probe of Abramoff.

He stepped down effective April 6 as investigators in Coughlin’s own division ratcheted up their investigation of lobbyist Kevin Ring, Coughlin’s long-time friend and a key associate of Abramoff. (Story.)

It’s almost impossible to say at this point what this leads to, but it’s certainly not good news for what’s shaping up as one of the most scandal-plagued presidencies in recent history.

4 replies »

  1. Is there something fishy about a resignation being “effective April 6”?? That’s three weeks ago. I honestly don’t know if that’s normal in the DOJ or anywhere– but if it’s NOT normal, what does it mean?…

    Could it be used, for example, to hide documents that were related to this official, or that he discovered, between the dates 4/6 and 4/27 ??

    (example: “…oh yeah, congress, you can subpoena his emails– just not the ones after 4/6– even though he was still acting in in his capacity as an investigator because his resignation was effective after that date”.)

  2. I can’t answer these questions. But I think you’re awfully smart to ask them. I hope investigators looking into the Abramoff case ask them, too.

  3. Let me see if I have this straight – fox is fired as investigator of foxes in henhouse because it’s noticed that investigating fox has hen feathers in his mouth – that about it?

    This administration has taken reliance on “scandal fatigue” to whole new levels. One hopes that fatigue will make the electorate sick and tired enough to throw the rotten bunch out.

    But then one hopes global warming and the energy crisis will be addressed sensibly, too….


  4. I don’t know, Jim. It may be innocent. Innocent until proven guilty, you know. But given how this administration has behaved, it’s understandable when people rush to judgment. You break the public trust on a daily basis for a period of years, and yeah, you’re going to forfeit that presumption of innocence.