MSNBC host Chris Matthews minimized the Jack Abramoff scandal, saying: "It's not going to be part of a larger story of Washington this year, I think."
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Discussing Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff's January 3 plea bargain with federal prosecutors, which, according to The Washington Post, "could become one of the largest corruption scandals in recent memory, involving as many as a half dozen lawmakers, a former top official at the Department of Interior and former and current congressional aides," MNSBC Hardball host Chris Matthews predicted that the scandal is "not going to be part of a larger story of Washington this year, I think."
Abramoff pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy, mail fraud, and tax evasion. As part of the plea agreement, he is expected to testify about the involvement of members of Congress and their staffs, including House Administration Committee chairman Bob Ney (R-OH), who, the Post reported, is identified by the prosecution as "Representative #1" in court documents.
From January 3 breaking coverage on MSNBC News Live:
MATTHEWS: I'm not sure it's partisan. I'm not sure that people are going to see him as part of any Republican culture of corruption. I think [Rep. Randy] "Duke" Cunningham [R-CA] also was sort of a lone wolf in that department. I think we're gonna see this case, basically -- What's the right word? -- it's gonna be kept to itself. It's not gong to be part of a larger story of Washington this year, I think.