There's a lot of speculation right now about what's in and what's not in the criminal information -- the facts that Abramoff admitted to today, the ones that will be the basis of his plea agreement.
More than a few readers, lawyers of various sorts, express suspicions that so little new factual information is continued in the document. There's no mention of any members of Congress beside Rep. Ney (R-OH), against whom two others have already agreed to testify. Nor is there any mention of executive branch officials -- not even David Safavian, who's already under indictment in the case.
Others see this altogether differently. The 'information' is quite open-ended. (Note that page three refers to bribes to "public officials and their relatives" which seems to allude to possible indictments involving if not necessarily against spouses of members of Congress.) And note too that prosecutors don't have to provide exhaustive details about what they expect a defendant to testify to -- especially if some of it is the focus of a continuing investigation.
The question lingering in the background here, of course, is whether political officials at the DOJ have leaned on prosecutors to limit the scope of the investigation for political reasons.
For the moment, given all I've seen to date and heard, I'm not inclined to believe that that is happening. This seems more like the beginning of a long process. They go after Ney first and continue their investigation, with Abramoff's fate hanging in the balance, depending on how cooperative he chooses to be in providing information on coconspirators and sundry bad acts.
But who knows? We have to wait to see how it plays out.
Let us know what you think in this thread we just set up over at TPMcafe.