Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Stretching the Law

Kevin Ring, a lobbyist, (pictured) was targeted by the Rove Republican Racket for "honest services fraud" among other charges. His alleged offense? Offering congressional and justice department staffers baseball tickets and free dinners which was not illegal to do at the time.

Last week, after much publicity inside the beltway and a long trial, a verdict didn't come through; a mistrial was declared. A former prosecutor gives a reason why the Rove Racket lost on a post at TPMMuckracker:
Peter Zeidenberg, who while at DOJ worked on the case against Bush administration official David Safavian, told TPMmuckraker that he wasn't surprised that prosecutors failed to convict Ring, because the meals, event tickets, and other goodies that Ring lavished on government officials did not represent crimes in themselves at the time. Rather, the Feds argued that, taken together, they amounted to a conspiracy to deprive the public of the honest services of public office-holders -- a tough sell for a jury.
It seem prosecutors tried to stretch non-criminal acts into a conspiracy. The Rove Racket stretched the law in an attempt to throw Ring behind bars. This was truly a political prosecution. Ring's real crime? Having worked as an associate to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.