Tony Rudy – A Primer

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It can be hard to keep all these corrupt former DeLay aides straight – so let’s go over who Tony Rudy is.

First, it’s absolutely no surprise that Rudy is pleading guilty. He was identified in Jack Abramoff’s plea agreement twice (as “Staffer A”). The most serious allegation was that he accepted $50,000 in payments through his wife in order to kill two key pieces of legislation while working for DeLay.

He worked for Tom DeLay through December, 2000, when he left to work for Abramoff at Greenberg Traurig. He was no doubt involved in some shady business there, and he left after a little more than a year to go work for Alexander Strategy Group, the lobbying firm run by Ed Buckham, another former DeLay aide. ASG, whose business was access to Delay, folded shortly after Abramoff pled guilty.So who’s Rudy going to implicate? Well, he certainly has some good stuff on Abramoff, but that’s no basis for a plea agreement. If prosecutors are giving him the opportunity to get less jail time, it means he’s going to finger more people than just him.

The big fish would be, of course, DeLay. Rudy was Abramoff’s man in DeLay’s office before he eventually moved over to work for him. What can Rudy tell prosecutors about DeLay’s role in helping Abramoff’s clients? A lot.

The other main target would be Buckham, who was DeLay’s chief of staff until he left at the beginning of 1998. As I’ve said before, Buckham’s move out of DeLay’s office really just privatized his role – he was still DeLay’s right hand. If Rudy were to implicate Buckham, then Buckham might go to. And Buckham was absolutely central to DeLay’s money machine – he even ran DeLay’s political committee for a time.

This should be good. We’ll post Rudy’s plea as soon as it’s released.