Tony Rudy pled to a single charge of Conspiracy. Rudy faces a maximum sentence of five years, a fine of $250,000, and $100,000 in restitution. Because of his cooperation, Rudy is likely to receive a sentence in the range of two years to two years, 6 months.
Two Members of Congress are identified in the plea: Representative #1 is Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) and Representative #2 is former Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX). Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean that this is all Rudy has to give. Guilty pleas are not exhaustive.
Three main observations:
1) I’m not sure there are room for any more nails in Bob Ney’s coffin, but if there were, Tony Rudy’s plea squeezes them in there.
2) The plea does mention DeLay, but it seems like he’s not going to serve up DeLay to prosecutors on a silver platter.
3) The plea doesn’t mention Ed Buckham at all.Like the pleas of Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon, Rudy’s plea very explicitly targets Ney, saying that in exchange for a whole host of favors, he “agreed to take favorable official action and render other assistance on behalf of the clients of Abramoff and defendant Rudy.” Specifically, Rudy’s deal mentions Ney’s agreement to try and slip a line into “election reform legislation” that would have benefited one of Abramoff’s tribal clients. This was also mentioned in Abramoff’s deal, among other Ney favors.
On DeLay, there are a couple of things, none of them the stuff of screaming headlines. First, Rudy was down lobbying DeLay’s office the month after he left DeLay’s office, which is against the law – he was forbidden from doing that for a year. That doesn’t look good, of course, but it’s pretty tame compared to the case against Ney.
The other thing is that while working for DeLay, Rudy got $86,000 in payments from Abramoff passed through his wife’s consulting firm in addition to the general compliment of favors (sporting events, meals, golf, etc.). In exchange, Rudy was Abramoff’s man on the inside, “in regular telephone and email contact with Abramoff.”
The plea mentions one specific instance of Rudy going to bat for Abramoff: in July, 2000 on the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act. “Rudy advised Members of Congress to vote against proposed legislation limiting gambling on the internet, without disclosing” that Rudy was on the take from Abramoff. Nothing very specific there on DeLay.