Not since the 1992 House banking scandal that led to the retirement or ouster of 77 lawmakers has a corruption probe like the one involving lobbyist Jack Abramoff struck fear in so many hearts on Capitol Hill.
Some lawmakers - Republican Senator Sam Brownback is the latest
- are scrambling to return or give away campaign donations. Others are the target of ethics complaints back in their home states by political foes.
In Florida, Abramoff is scheduled to go on trial January 9th for allegedly concocting a fake 23 (m) million dollar wire transfer to make it appear he and his business partner were putting their own money into the 2000 purchase of a fleet of gambling boats.
The ex-business partner, Adam Kidan, pleaded guilty last week and agreed to testify against Abramoff, putting pressure on the Washington lobbyist to reach a settlement to reduce any potential prison term.