Well, well. It’s a quick plea deal for a long-time former aide to Sen. Thad Chocran in an Abramoff-related pay-to-play matter:

Copland is the latest among more than a dozen congressional aides, lobbyists, lawmakers and Bush administration officials convicted as part of a lobbying scandal spawned by Abramoff, a former high-flying influence peddler now serving a four-year prison term….

Among the e-mails filed in court was one from lobbyist Todd Boulanger to his boss saying they should go out of their way to keep Copland happy because ”she’s more valuable to us than a rank-and-file House member.”

More valuable? How so? Don’t you wonder what "value" Ms. Copeland brought to the relationship via her boss, Sen. Cochran? I know I do.

Does this mean more to come in the ever-widening Abramoff probe? One can only hope.

Copland was only charged late in February, which means this was a very quick turn-around on plea negotiations from some enterprising attorney and Copland. It was a piggy-back charge from documentary evidence which surfaced in the Boulanger matter.

Does this mean that Copland has agreed to flip on someone up the chain? As in, her former boss from whose office she abruptly left employment last spring? Or other Senate staffers or Abramoff associates?

Guess we’ll see. But you have to think there was a fairly large weight hanging over Copland’s head to leave two salaries behind, don’t you? (Yes, that’s right, two salaries. Nice work if you can get it.)

I’d note that the WSJ piece on this says that Abramoff had ties to "conservative interest groups" which allowed him to build-up his corrupt lobbying and pay-to-play scheme. Hello Karl and Grover and Ralph. Nice of the WSJ not to mention you, but I suppose that would get embarrassing seeing how Karl writes a column for them regularly and all. Cozy.

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

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