Disbarment of Former DOJ Official Involved in Abramoff Scandal

An excerpt from BLT:

The D.C. Court of Appeals today disbarred a former U.S. Justice Department lawyer who pleaded guilty in Washington federal district court to a conflict of interest violation stemming from the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.

Robert Coughlin II, who served as deputy chief of staff in the Criminal Division, consented to disbarment from the District of Columbia bar, the appeals court said in an order (PDF) published today.

Coughlin had been under interim suspension since June 2008. He pleaded guilty in April 2008 in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of conflict of interest. Coughlin was not immediately reached for comment this morning.

Prosecutors said Coughlin acknowledged receiving gifts from former Greenberg Traurig lobbyist Kevin Ring, who was also charged in the Abramoff investigation. Ring and Coughlin were close friends, socializing regularly.

Coughlin helped Ring get a $16.3 million grant for the Chocktaw Tribe to build a jail. Coughlin received thousands of dollars in concert and sporting event tickets and restaurant trips.