Criminal Justice

Ex-Lobbyist Accused of Improper DOJ Influence Loses Recusal Bid

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A former lobbyist arrested last week in connection with his work for Jack Abramoff has lost a bid to get a federal judge to recuse herself because of her role as the principal judge hearing related influence-peddling cases.

Kevin Ring was arrested last week on charges of conspiracy, fraud and obstruction of justice, Legal Times reports. His lawyer, Richard Hibey, questioned whether the impartiality of U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle had been eroded because of her work in a case that has generated guilty pleas from 13 former lobbyists and government officials, the story says.

Huvelle refused to transfer or reassign the case, the Associated Press reports.

Ring is accused of illegally seeking to influence lawmakers and government officials. He was a member of Abramoff’s lobbying team at Greenberg Traurig. He worked closely with Robert Coughlin, a former Justice Department official who pleaded guilty in April to conflict of interest, the Washington Post reports. Coughlin had been accused of accepting meals and tickets from Ring to advance the causes of his clients at the Justice Department.

Prosecutors indicated at a hearing yesterday that they would turn over several million pages of documents to Ring’s lawyers, including e-mail correspondence from former Solicitor General Paul Clement, the Associated Press reports. There is no indication Clement was implicated in any wrongdoing.

Ring knew Coughlin and Clement because they all worked for former Attorney General John Ashcroft when he was a Missouri senator.

Ring is the author of a book about the opinions of Justice Antonin Scalia. He thanked Clement for his help in acknowledgments.

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