WASHINGTON — Jack A. Abramoff, once one of the most powerful and politically connected lobbyists on Capitol Hill, has agreed to enter a guilty plea today to five criminal charges including tax evasion, conspiracy and public corruption, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court.
The guilty plea follows months of investigation by federal officials and hours of damaging testimony about Abramoff’s cold and calculating lobbying tactics that netted him and his partners millions of dollars in fees, much of it extracted from unsuspecting Indian tribes who often didn’t even know Abramoff was getting their money.
Abramoff’s plea opens up the prospect that he could begin unraveling for prosecutors a web of ties with members of Congress that has for weeks kept officials Washington on edge.
Abramoff would presumably present evidence about favors he provided to some members of Congress and their aides.
Under the agreement, Abramoff has agreed to plead to charges of conspiracy, public corruption and tax evasion in a case based here in Washington. In a separate case in Florida, involving the purchase of a casino gambling fleet, Abramoff has agreed to plead to two counts of fraud and conspiracy, according to his attorneys.
In return for pleading guilty to reduced charges, Abramoff is expected to provide testimony that could lead to the indictment of members of Congress and their current and former aides.