At the end of last week the statute of limitations expired for prosecutors to bring charges in Florida against Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) for his alleged exchange of favorable language inserted into the Congressional Record for gifts from Jack Abramoff and Adam Kidan. The Washington Post explained this weekend that federal prosecutors are looking at a wider investigation of the congressman:
Federal prosecutors signaled this week that they have decided to pursue a wide range of allegations about dealings between Rep. Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio) and lobbyist Jack Abramoff, rather than bringing a narrowly focused bribery case against the congressman. … Ney’s lawyer, Mark Tuohey, said he has been in talks with Justice Department officials and expects to know within a month or two whether Ney will face criminal charges. He said the department asked for another extension of the statute of limitations in recent days, but this time Ney declined. … Court papers filed in recent months show that prosecutors have lined up at least four cooperating witnesses against the Ohio congressman: Abramoff, former congressional aides Michael Scanlon and Tony C. Rudy, and businessman Adam Kidan. All have pleaded guilty to various conspiracy, fraud or public corruption charges.
The court filings that accompanied the plea agreements of Abramoff, Scanlon and Rudy accused Ney of accepting “a stream of things of value” in exchange for official actions.
Ney’s lawyer was touting the expiration of the statute of limitations in Florida as a win for the congressman. This report shows that Ney has a long way to go before he has a chance to clear his name.