Abramoff Requests Leniency in Sentencing for Corruption
WASHINGTON — Jack Abramoff, the once high-flying lobbyist who pleaded guilty to a scheme to corrupt Congress, asked a federal judge for mercy on Wednesday, saying he was “not a bad man” although he acknowledged he “did many bad things.”
In a letter sent to Judge Ellen S. Huvelle, the day before she was to sentence him in a Washington courtroom, Mr. Abramoff wrote: “So much that happens in Washington stretches the envelope, skirts the spirit of the law and lives in the loopholes. But even by those standards, I blundered farther than even those excesses would allow.”
He said he had contemplated his behavior during the nearly two years he had already served in prison for an unrelated case involving fraud connected to cruise ships in Florida.
Prosecutors have already asked Judge Huvelle to pare years off the jail term recommended in federal sentencing guidelines, citing Mr. Abramoff’s cooperation in wide-ranging investigations that have resulted in the convictions of one congressman, several Congressional aides and some executive branch officials.
Although he could face up to 11 years in the Congressional corruption case, prosecutors have recommended a sentence of about half that.
The sentencing on Thursday is expected to include public statements from some leaders of American Indian tribes that were defrauded by Mr. Abramoff, in his role as their lobbyist before Congress.