Editorial: Abramoff trial shows power corrupts
"If Aesop were around, he’d find a way to use John Albaugh’s story as a teaching tool. The moral: power can corrupt.

Albaugh is scheduled to testify in a Washington, D.C., federal court about how he accepted gifts and meals from a lobbyist and in turn made sure the lobbyist’s clients were taken care of. Albaugh was chief of staff for former U.S. Rep. Ernest Istook, who had accumulated considerable clout as chairman of the House subcommittee that controlled transportation spending.

Albaugh is a witness in the trial of Kevin Ring, who worked with super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Ring faces 10 felony counts of fraud, conspiracy and obstruction of justice. He contends he can’t be held responsible for the actions of Albaugh and others.

It seems clear Albaugh lost his way during 16 years in Washington. Federal court documents show he admitted to ensuring that lobbyists who supported Istook were rewarded with taxpayer-funded projects for their clients. E-mail exchanges between Albaugh and Ring made clear references to the favors the two were doing for each other."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Broken compass: Former aide’s story a cautionary tale (The Oklahoman 9/14)

Also Today:
Abramoff deputy puts his case to jury (AP 9/11)
Abramoff Associate Was a 'Corrupter,' Not a Lobbyist, Prosecutors Tell Jury (The Washington Post 9/12)

Relevant Documents:
DOJ Opposition | Indictment: US v Ring

Related Stories:
Witnesses a potential problem in Abramoff trial (9/9)
Jury selection begins in Abramoff scandal case (9/8)
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)

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