Abramoff Scandal | Opinion

Opinion: Jack Abramoff still trying to say sorry for his crimes





"Fallen super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff is out of prison now but still doing penance. On Monday afternoon, he performed the Washington equivalent of donning a hair shirt: He appeared before the liberal advocacy group Public Citizen to field questions from reporters and campaign-finance-reform activists.

“If somebody told me a number of years ago that I’d be sitting in this room, in this building, talking to all of you,” Abramoff told those assembled in Public Citizen’s Dupont Circle brownstone, “and not have cuffs on or something like that, I would probably not have believed them.”

Yet there he was, looking up at a picture of Ralph Nader — “my entire career was in some way or another opposed to Ralph Nader” — and offering to do what he could “to help those I frankly disdained and those I couldn’t stand, including those in this building.”

The disdain was mutual — and it endures. Public Citizen President Robert Weissman, tasked with introducing Abramoff to the lions in the den, did it like this: “Jack is someone who doesn’t need an introduction and I won’t give him one.”"

Get the Story:
Dana Milbank: Jack Abramoff’s atonement (The Washington Post 2/7)