As everyone is undoubtedly aware, the Justice Department has told attorneys for Tom DeLay that its investigation into him has quietly ended. This is obviously very disappointing development to the ACR Blog, but it should not be interpreted as an exoneration of our former Congressman. There is some sort of partisan Rosarch test related to scandals involving elected officials. Typically, people only see scandal on the other side. Democrats will invariably deny that Bill Clinton's made false statements under oath since he was never held criminally accountable for that. Apologists on the other side will declare that Mr. DeLay's relationship with Jack Abramoff was above-board because he will not be held accountable for them.
One consultant to the ACR Blog has repeated told us that he appreciated the blog because the acts of many of the Congressional staffers in this scandal are documented most thouroughly on these pages. It was never the intent of the ACR Blog to be a court of law, but we did intend to collect facts about the players in this scandal. We're fully aware that for many of the staffers, a post on the ACR Blog could immediately top a Google search for that staffer. That fact instilled a great amount of responsibility for the author of this blog, and we believe we risen to the challenge.
Given the announcement about Mr. DeLay, the primary purpose of this blog has ended. Arguably, the purpose of this blog ended when Mr. DeLay announced his resignation back in April 2006. This blog has required an inordinate amount of time to maintain. Like a nicotine addiction, we've tried to end it more than once before without success. We plan a post on Mr. DeLay's comments this week that are inconsistent with things he's said in the past, and we've got a few unpublished posts that will likely come out in the next few days, but for the most part, like the Justice Department investigation, the blog is over.
As for the remaining criminal cases, we have mixed feelings about those, too. Fraser Verrusio is the only World Series defendant who refuses to hold himself accountable. (And we still wonder why he paid a female co-worker $300 for "shoe cleaning".) Since Mr. Verrusio refuses to hold himself accountable, we hope the Justice Department does.
Kevin Ring is a more complicated case. We believe that Mr. Ring's decision to go to trial stymied the Justice Department's investigation into Rep. John Doolittle (R-Calif.). On the other hand, Mr. Ring's behavior was objectively a lot less corrupt than some of his Greenberg Traurig co-workers who took a far more transactional approach to their lobbying work. Based on what we've read of Mr. Ring's book proposal, we actually do believe that he recognizes that his behavior crossed some sort of ethical line. Even though the ACR Blog believes the evidence is strong enough to convict Mr. Ring, we also acknowledge that reasonable people could come to the opposite conclusion. The ACR Blog was a place were the opposing sides could discuss these conflicting views without the typical ad hominem internet riff-raff. For that, we thank our readers and commenters. Our readers and commenters are what truly made the ACR Blog an informative site covering the Abramoff scandal.
The author of the ACR Blog still intends to monitor the remaining Abramoff-related cases (Kevin Ring exhibit list due tomorrow), but not with the same intensity and without writing about it.
Again, the author of the ACR Blog is humbled by the attention given to this blog by a wide variety of individuals. We wish to thank everyone who has given us documents, tips and encouragement. We may be biased, but we think that this blog uniquely covered the Abramoff scandal, and credit is due to the readers as much (if not more) than the author.
Thank you for a great 4-year run!