Saturday, April 28, 2007

Abramoff Associate Had Friend in High Places at DOJ ~ Now Abruptly Resigned

"Coughlin held two senior staff positions at Justice while Ring was lobbying the department on behalf of Abramoff's clients...Coughlin is at least the second Justice Department official to come under scrutiny in the wide-ranging Abramoff probe, which has implicated five congressmen, a deputy Cabinet secretary, a White House aide and eight others. Sue Ellen Wooldridge, a top environmental prosecutor at the Department of Justice, resigned in January."

On Friday came the announcement that Robert E. Coughlin abruptly resigned as the Department's continuing investigation threatened to get too close to a friend, Kevin Ring, who was a lobbyist for Abramoff & who apparently lobbied the Department of Justice at the same time as Coughlin held senior staff positions there.

Coughlin was later promoted to Deputy Chief of Staff for the DOJ's Criminal Division, which is now looking into Ring's key position as a lobbyist for Abramoff's clients. (McClatchy News, title bar.)

Coughlin said that his resignation was voluntary, & that he was moving to Texas, but declined so say whether he had another job lined up.

Coughlin claims to have recused himself from any participation in the DOJ's investigation of Ring & Abramoff.



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