CRIME

Kevin Ring sentenced to 20 months in lobbying scandal

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Prosecutor Nathaniel Edmonds asked the judge for four years imprisonment, saying a sentence without jail would invite future offenders. He said Ring's showering of gifts on public officials "is not business as usual in Washington - that is a crime."

The Justice Department initially suggested a 17-year to 22-year sentencing guidelines range for Ring. Huvelle rejected that and suggested it appeared to justify Ring's suggestion that he was being retaliated against for exercising his constitutional right to trial.

Most other figures in the scandal cooperated with investigators and pleaded guilty in deals that spared them jail time for similar conduct.

Ring claimed in a letter to the judge that prosecutors charged him in a 10-count indictment after he refused to accuse his former boss, ex-Rep. John Doolittle, R-Calif., of being corrupted by his gifts.

"Saying these things would have been a flat-out lie," Ring said in a letter to the judge in which he maintained his innocence while admitting he made many mistakes in his lobbying career in acting "unethically or just cowardly or stupidly."

Prosecutors deny he was pressured to lie and say he was offered a plea deal to admit his guilt without being required to testify against Doolittle or anyone else.

"Unfortunately for Ring, 12 jurors decided beyond a reasonable doubt that Ring did have the intent to corrupt public officials, including Congressman Doolittle," the prosecutors wrote in a 39-page memo pushing for a prison term.

They said Ring's choice to submit a letter of support from Doolittle in which Doolittle said he was never corruptly influenced by Ring "is particularly egregious" because the former lawmaker was the recipient of his bribes and could have testified during the trial and been cross-examined.

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