I was surprised that Abramoff took the deal, although in retrospect I should have anticipated it. Abramoff is not an ideologue, and I am sure that he is first concerned about saving as much of his own skin as he can. He was, for all intents and purposes, thrown under the bus by the party he served for so many years.
Addendum: This now in from the New York Times:
Jack Abramoff will plead guilty to three felony counts in Washington on Wednesday as part of a settlement with federal prosecutors, ending an intense, months-long negotiation over whether the Republican lobbyist would testify against his former colleagues, people involved with the case said.A deal by Abramoff does not bode well for the GOP. He is the kind of connected political player who has likely has dirt on every person with whom he comes into contact.
With Jack Abramoff's cooperation, the Justice Department will have a potentially critical witness to alleged patterns of corruption within the Republican leadership. Mr. Abramoff, 46, is pleading guilty to fraud, public corruption and tax evasion, setting the stage for prosecutors to begin using him as a cooperating witness against his former business and political colleagues. In exchange, Mr. Abramoff faces a maximum of about 10 years in prison in the Washington case.