Former Deputy Interior Secretary Steven Griles will plead guilty to one count of obstruction of justice in the Jack Abramoff corruption investigation, The Associated Press has learned.
Griles, an oil and gas lobbyist who became an architect of President Bush’s energy policies while at the Interior Department between July 2001 and July 2005, is the highest ranking Bush administration official implicated in the Washington lobbying scandal.
The former No. 2 official at the Interior Department has agreed to a felony plea admitting that he lied five times to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and its investigators about his relationship with Abramoff, people involved in the case told the AP….
And it sounds like a very good deal for Griles:
Prosecutors dropped earlier allegations that Griles did anything improper to help Abramoff or gained anything of value from the former Republican lobbyist, the AP was told. The agreement does not require Griles to help investigators with their grand jury probe….
In exchange for the plea, federal prosecutors will seek no more than a 10-month prison sentence for Griles â the minimum they could seek under sentencing guidelines â but they will agree to let him serve half that in home confinement, according to one person involved in the case.
More later. In the meantime, here’s a post I wrote just after the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs released their report on Abramoff. It was immediately apparent that Griles had lied to investigators.