The New York Times moves the story on Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff ahead a little today, particularly with this passage:
One participant in the case said the deal could be made final as early as next week.
The terms of the plea deal have not been completed, and the negotiations are especially complicated because they involve prosecutors both in Miami and in Washington, where Mr. Abramoff is being investigated in a separate influence-peddling inquiry, participants said. Details of what he feels comfortable pleading guilty to are "probably largely worked out," the participant said, while the details of the prison sentence are less resolved.
Next week? Maybe, maybe not:
"Anything can happen," the participant said, adding that the agreement could fall apart. Another person with detailed knowledge of the case said that while negotiations were continuing, the deal could take longer than another week to be settled.
Let us not forget that these details which are "probably largely worked out" are for the criminal trial set to begin in Miami on January 9 regarding fraud in Abramoff's SunCruz casino purchase. While it is possible that this case touches on a few members of Congress -- Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and former DeLay-aide-turned-Abramoff-hired-lobbyist Tony Rudy served as references for Abramoff, and Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) famously inserted comments in the congressional record about the business deal -- the real liability a dozen (or dozens?) Republican politicians and operatives face is when Abramoff cuts a deal in fraud case involving his work for Native American tribes and casinos.
It's a little surprising that it appears that the Department of Justice is separating the pleas here...