The Next Abramoff Shoe To Drop

Here's the next Abramoff blockbuster coming soon to a newspaper, cable TV station, and blog near you. What makes this particularly tantalizing is that it puts the White House squarely in the middle of a 2002 corruption investigation of a sleazy arrangement between Abramoff and Guam Superior Court officials. The chief prosecutor in the investigation was acting U.S. Atty. for Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, Frederick A. Black. As the LA Times wrote back in August 2005, in more innocent times when Abramoff's shenanigans did not make front page news, Black was removed from his position as acting U.S. Attorney in November 2002. It was a position he had held for over a decade, and which he lost one day after a subpoena was issued demanding the release of records involving the Guam court's lobbying contract with Abramoff -- including bills and payments.

And if this is not a bizarre enough coincidence for you, Black's replacement, Leonardo Rapadas, was a cousin of "one of the main targets" of the Guam investigation. Rapadas, who had been recommended to Karl Rove for the U.S. Attorney position by a lobbyist under contract with Guam's Gutierrez Administration, whom Black had also been investigating, promptly recused himself, and the investigation was very conveniently ended.

Look for more news on this very soon. And this next Abramoff storm will be gathering momentum just as the White House is desperately trying to distance itself from Abramoff, and Scott McClellan insists that "the President does not know [Abramoff], nor does the President recall ever meeting him." Possibly true. But what's more scandalous -- shaking hands with the man or unethically jury-rigging a corruption investigation so he'd never have to see a jail cell? But it turns out that even the president could not stop the inevitable.