J. Steven Griles, formerly the #2 at the Interior Department, has hired Washington D.C. attorney and political ethics expert Stanley J. Brand, reports Peter Stone of National Journal
(not available online).
Griles, who was evidently Abramoff's inside man at the department -- and who may have lied to Congress
to cover this up -- has been told by prosecutors that he is a target
of the Jack Abramoff investigation. He's hired Brand, Stone reports, "in case Griles goes to trial." Griles already has another lawyer, Barry Hartman
of K&L Gates.
In case? "Some lawyers believe that Griles may cut a plea deal," Stone gingerly notes.
Brand, an expert on congressional ethics, is on speed dial for most Washington reporters -- and the Abramoff scandal has been no exception
In fact, he's already gone on record with his opinion
of the affair: "When this is all over, this will be bigger than any [government scandal] in the last 50 years, both in the amount of people involved and the breadth to it... It will include high-ranking members of Congress and executive branch officials." So now Brand is finally getting a piece of the action.
This development leaves a gaping question for the Washington press corps: who are they going to call for comment if they have an Abramoff story now?