Former Justice Officials Emerge in Abramoff Case

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The New York Sun

WASHINGTON — Two former top Justice Department officials emerged yesterday as figures in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal as prosecutors disclosed plans to turn over some of the officials’ correspondence to defense attorneys preparing for trial in the case.

The officials are a former solicitor general, Paul Clement, and David Ayres, a one-time chief of staff to Attorney General Ashcroft.

Messrs. Clement and Ayres were among Justice Department officials in e-mail correspondence with Kevin Ring, a former team Abramoff lobbyist and Capitol Hill aide who’s facing trial on 10 counts of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, bribery, and fraud.

Mr. Ring is accused of trying to get lawmakers and government officials to help him and his clients by giving them gifts such as sports tickets and meals.

Messrs. Clement and Ayres were referenced by title but not by name at a federal court hearing in Mr. Ring’s case yesterday.

There’s no public indication that either Messrs. Clement or Ayres is implicated in wrongdoing. Mr. Ayres’s attorney did not immediately return a call for comment and a message left at Mr. Clement’s office at Georgetown Law School, where he is a visiting professor, was not immediately returned.

At yesterday’s hearing, prosecutors told U.S. District Judge Ellen Huvelle of plans to turn over “several million pages” of documents to Mr. Ring’s attorneys, including correspondence with Mr. Clement, Mr. Ayres and other former Justice Department officials.


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