On Friday, February 26, 2010, attorneys for Abramoff-linked defendant Horace Cooper filed a number of motions with the DC District Court. Most of them were Motions to Dismiss. Some of them made pretty good arguments, but there were precious few new facts about the case to be found in the motions. The ACR Blog has typically shied away from discussing matters of the law. While we've waded into such matters in the past, we won't get into them today.
The most interesting fact discovered in the motions of February 26 related to a series of tolling agreements signed by Mr. Cooper. The Third Waiver of Statute of Limitations signed by Mr. Cooper indicates that the statute of limitations was effectively frozen at January 6, 2009, meaning the Justice Department could indict Mr. Cooper for crimes committed after January 6, 2004 notwithstanding the five-year statute of limitations (SoL) typically associated with corruption-style crimes.
Some observers have suggested that the Justice Department will be unable to indict other scandal participants since virtually all Abramoff-related acts occurred more than five years ago. Due to tolling agreements like the one signed by Mr. Cooper, the answer to that question is not so simple. The DoJ may yet indict people who have waived the SoL through similar tolling agreements. Who has signed similar tolling agreements? The DoJ isn't a good source for such information because they are ethically constrained from discussing these matters. A good reporter should ask scandal players directly if they have agreed to waive the SoL. If we were a reporter, we'd start by asking John Doolittle and Tom DeLay if they have signed tolling agreements.
Horace Cooper Indictment