It came about a year too late to do him any good, but the Justice Department has notified
ex-Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) that he's no longer under investigation for his ties to Jack Abramoff. Burns, you may remember, lost very narrowly to Jon Tester (D) last November, with Burns' Abramoff problem a huge issue in the election.
The feds had been investigating
whether Burns helped Abramoff's tribal clients in exchange for tens of thousands in campaign contributions and other goodies. Abramoff himself said that he got whatever he wanted from Burns and that his staffers "pratically" used Abramoff's D.C. restaurant Signatures "as their cafeteria."
Abramoff continues to busily cooperate with investigators from prison. But whatever prosecutors came up with on Burns, they apparently didn't think it would stick in court -- bribery cases, of course, are notoriously hard to make.
Burns, who spent
around $300,000 in campaign contributions on defense lawyers, fittingly got a lobbying gig
after his forced retirement. And how does he feel about not being under investigation for the first time in more than two years? He says
that he feels "so great that it's unbelievable." I'll bet he's "ready to go get knee-walking drunk
: Don't forget that Rep. John Doolittle
(R-CA) and ex-Rep. Tom DeLay
(R-TX) are still very much on the hook.