Ex-Justice official takes Fifth in Abramoff trial
A former Department of Justice official invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when asked about his role in the Jack Abramoff scandal.

David Ayres, who served as chief of staff to attorney general John Ashcroft, refused to testify about a $16.3 million grant to the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Abramoff's top client. His wife also refused to testify.

Ayres was called to the stand by attorneys for Kevin Ring, one of Abramoff's associates. Ring lobbied Ayres to release the funds to the Choctaws, according to federal prosecutors.

Ayres, who now as CEO at The Ashcroft Group, is unlikely to face charges for his role in the scandal because the statute of limitations has run out, according to Ring's attorneys.

Get the Story:
Former Justice Official Takes the Fifth (The Blog of Legal Times 9/17)
Former top Ashcroft aide takes the fifth (AP 9/17)
Ashcroft’s Longtime Aide Can Take the Fifth, Judge Rules (Main Justice 9/17)
Former Staffer Knew Taking Gifts Was Wrong (The National Journal 9/17)