News came today that Tom DeLay has run out the clock and will not face prosecution for his role in the Abramoff scandal. He is just the latest scandal figure to escape justice.
Most of the crimes he committed with Abramoff were done more than 6 years ago and the worst crimes were done more than a decade ago. One of two thing could have happened when the Abramoff scandal broke. There could have been a full and swift investigation or there could have been a long, drawn out process that eventually ends with a whimper. The latter course was the one followed.
The Bush DOJ made sure that the staff on the investigation team was regularly changed and given a steady stream of new managers. The investigation was slow-walked to death and it worked. As for Congress, the Republicans killed the ethics process to block ANY examination of the scandal and when the Democrats took charge somehow a look back at the Abramoff scandal never got on the “to do” list. We can look back ten years to poke Charlie Rangel, but when it comes to Republicans and Jack Abramoff–investigating the violations is on the bi-partisan “do not do” list.
I have been following the ins and outs of this stuff for years and I can see why the DOJ is walking away. These are hard cases to make in court. Momentum is everything and the wasted years of slow-walked investigations and out right obstruction are lost time that one can not get back. Then there is the recent Roberts Court ruling on Honest Services Fraud which has made any investigation of any corrupt politician or corporate officer far more difficult and far more likely to be subjected to more delays and more legal challenges. And so the guilty get a pass and Tom DeLay has been given a ‘get out of jail free’ card.
This is the story of scandal in America. Everybody in Iran-Contra walked as well. Years later most came back to fuck America even harder (and yes, Abramoff was one of those fuckers).
The crooks are free to grift again. The victims will not see justice. The women raped. The folks sold into bondage. The workers whose wages were stolen. They, like many before them, will never be made whole. The best one can hope for is that some day their story will be told and that folks like Tom DeLay will be known far and wide to be the shit sucking fuckwads that they are.