For the past few years, as the Jack Abramoff corruption investigation and its various spinoffs threatened to consume the entire decade, it had become pretty obvious that the feds’ main remaining target was a relatively unknown Abramoff protege by the name of Kevin Ring.
The feds had brought case after case against those who Ring had come in contact with during the GOP lobbying heyday of the early 2000s — and one by one they had pleaded guilty, avoiding trial and hoping to lighten their sentences. But long after Jack Abramoff had been carted off to jail and others had paid their debt to society and tried to resume their lives, Ring still held out, declining plea offers and eventually taking the case to trial.
But the biggest fish in the Abramoff saga to actually go to trial slipped away yesterday when the judge declared a mistrial on seven of the eight charges implicating Ring. Zack Roth takes a look at what went wrong with the Ring prosecution.
David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.