Witness for the Prosecution
Italia Federici, one-time president of a Republican environmental group, provided the government "substantial assistance" in sending former Interior deputy secretary J. Steven Griles to jail for 10 months earlier this year, according to a filing today by the Justice Department.
In return, federal prosecutors are recommending that she be punished with home detention instead of jail when she is sentenced this Friday for tax evasion and obstructing a congressional investigation.
Federici has spent more than 100 hours with investigators providing information in the ongoing probe of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his relationship to Griles and others at Interior and in Congress. Federici, 38, served as a conduit for information between Abramoff, who had his tribal clients fund her group, and Griles, with whom she was linked romantically. Their activities originally came to light in a Post story about their efforts to scuttle an Indian casino in Louisiana that threatened to compete with one of Abramoff's clients.
Federici has provided information on "a wide range of persons and topics" and "performed meaningful research at the investigators' behest," says a sentencing memo filed today by the government. Robert Jared Carpenter, a co-worker at the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, is to be sentenced Friday as well. Their non-profit group was founded in the 1990s by former Interior Secretary Gale Norton and anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist.
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