Anne Kornblut of the New York Times scoops this story, which may have more serious implications than the earlier AP story for DeLay, on how Jack Abramoff is discussing a deal with prosecutors.
I wrote recently about how the noose is tightening. But here's the first, even if anonymous, record that a deal is in the works:
Jack Abramoff, the Republican lobbyist under criminal investigation, has been discussing with prosecutors a deal that would grant him a reduced sentence in exchange for testimony against former political and business associates, people with detailed knowledge of the case say.
Mr. Abramoff is believed to have extensive knowledge of what prosecutors suspect is a wider pattern of corruption among lawmakers and Congressional staff members. One participant in the case who insisted on anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations described him as a "unique resource."
Other people involved in the case or who have been officially briefed on it said the talks had reached a tense phase, with each side mindful of the date Jan. 9, when Mr. Abramoff is scheduled to stand trial in Miami in a separate prosecution.
Can't imagine it's the only tense place right now. The question is, how many members of Congress will call their lawyers in the morning when they pick up the Times? And pity that only President Bush, with his secret wiretapping, will know...
(via Talking Points Memo)