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Abramoff Sentencing Sketches

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I’m often asked how many sketches I do, and the answer is always ‘that depends’. It depends on how much time I have, and whether we’re talking about finished drawings or rough sketches.

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At the sentencing of Jack Abramoff this week I produced two finished drawings: the obligatory, and time consuming, wide-shot, and a tight head-shot. I might have completed more, but Nightly News dropped the story and MSNBC was only interested in the Republican Convention and the looming hurricanes.

But during the two hour hearing, which ended in the late afternoon right up against deadline, I was also working on other sketches which could have been finished if needed.

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This one shows Abramoff’s lawyer Abbe Lowell arguing for his client.

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This is a sketch of a member of the Saginaw Chippewa tribe delivering a victim impact statement.

 

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Here prosecutor Mary Butler addresses the court while Abramoff looks on.

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Abbe Lowell pleads for leniency in the sentencing of his client.

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And, finally, the beginning of another head-shot should I need it.

If you want to read about what actually happened in the courtroom Matt Apuzzo’s story is here.

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Sentencing is peachy for Italia Federici

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Republican environmental advocate, and co-founder of CREA, Italia Federici was sentenced yesterday to a mere two months in a half-way house for tax evasion and obstructing a Senate investigation. Ms Federici, who once worked on former Interior Secretary Gale Norton’s Senate bid, was romantically involved with the number two official at the Department of the Interior, J. Stevens Griles at the same time CREA was receiving checks totaling $500,000. from indian tribes represented by Jack Abramoff. Said her lawyer,
“each man had his own agenda and each man used her for their own pleasure and gain”.

Washington Post story here.

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Another Abramoff defendant sentenced

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Neil Volz, a former aide to convicted congressman Bob Ney who went on to work for disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, was yesterday sentenced by Judge Ellen Huvelle to two years probation. He received leniency for his cooperation with the government in their prosecution of Ney and others.

The sketch below shows Volz testifying at the trial of former GSA chief David Safavian about the infamous St. Andrews golf trip.

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Washington Post story here.

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Another prison sentence in Abramoff scandal

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The former Deputy Secretary of the Interior was sentenced today to ten months in prison as well as a $30,000 fine and community service for lying to a Senate committee about his relationship with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

I posted earlier, when he entered his guilty plea in March, about how  J. Steven Griles met Abramoff through his girlfriend Italia Federici, who has entered into a plea agreement of her own and is due to be sentenced in September. Today we heard of one kind of benefit Abramoff received from the relationship.

During the filming of the motion picture “National Treasure” film crews, with their trailers and equipment, had set up on the grounds of the United States Navy Memorial next to Abramoff’s restaurant “Signatures” and were blocking the valet parking area abutting the restaurant. An angry Jack Abramoff called Griles, who contacted the Special Assistant to the Director of the National Park Service who had the Park Service direct the film crew to move. Abramoff boasted in an e-mail to a colleague, “I  . . . am all over their asses”.

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A tearful Griles addressed the judge before imposition of sentence saying “This has been the most difficult time in my life. My guilty plea here has brought me great shame and
embarrassment. I have lost my business, my income and, most
importantly, my reputation.”

WaPo story here.

Dana Milbank’s “Washington Sketch” is a good read.

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11th conviction in Abramoff scandal

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Former congressional staffer Mark Zachares, who got his post on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee with the help of Jack Abramoff, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy for his part in the influence -peddling scandal.

AP story is here.

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Cherchez la femme

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The former number-two official at the Interior Department under Gale Norton pleaded guilty today to lying to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee about his ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff; a tie with a romantic knot. The link between the former Deputy Secretary of the Interior, J. Steven Griles, 59, and Abramoff was Italia Federici, the head of a Italia_Federiciconservative nonprofit called the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, or CREA.
Abramoff is said to have funneled around $500,000 to her organization in exchange for access to Norton, a co-founder of CREA, and Griles, Federici’s  then paramour.

Salon has a story about Italia here.

Washington Post story here.

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Former Rep. Ney chief of staff pleads guilty

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William Heaton, one-time chief of staff to Congressman Bob Ney, plead guilty before U.S.District Judge Ellen S. Huvelle today. In the above sketch Heaton is second from left, taking the oath; his attorney, John Nassikas, is standing next to him.

NBC’s Joel Seidman has the story here.

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Former Rep. Ney has the book thrown at him

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Judge Ellen S. Huvelle sentenced former congressman Bob Ney to 30 months in jail -three more than the Justice Dept. had asked for- and $6000. in fines for accepting tens of thousands of dollars in trips and other perks from disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Prior to sentencing the judge received letters from citizens, most of them from Ohio,  asking her to impose the maximum sentence. One read “throw the book at him. Throw two books…”

Washington Post story here.

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Safavian sentenced

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Safavian’s voice cracked and his wife wept as he asked for leniency, but Judge Paul L. Friedman showed little sympathy as he sentenced him to 18 months in prison for obstruction of justice.

 

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Safavian

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David Safavian, the former GSA chief of staff and OMB official who stood trial this summer and was found guilty of obstructing justice and making false statements about his relationship with lobbyist Jack Abramoff, is scheduled to be sentenced tomorrow.

COURTARTIST will be there.

This sketch from May 30, 2006 shows former Abramoff associate Neil Volz testifying for the government as part of his plea deal.  Volz also used to be an aide to Representative Bob Ney (R-Ohio) who entered a guilty plea of his own two weeks ago. Safavian is seated between his attorneys at the table to the right.

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