Ex-Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio), who went to prison for his role in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, has a new book out. He doesn’t mince words about the former Justice Department Criminal Division chief who oversaw his prosecution.
Alice S. Fisher was “undoubtedly the most covert, manipulative, cunning, stealthy, vicious, cold-hearted instrument of evil that Karl Rove and the Bush administration had,” Ney writes, according to the National Journal.
Ney alleged that Fisher, who oversaw the Public Integrity Section prosecutors on the case, “shredded the Constitution” and forced him to agree to plead guilty in 2006 to charges of using his office to do favors for lobbyists in exchange for gifts.
“Through leaks, the government of the United States knowingly fabricated and made overblown statements about not all, but some of the facts of the case. In order to bring this to an end, I made a plea, fully aware that the leaks were at times overblown and untrue.”
Fisher, now a partner at Latham & Watkins LLP in Washington, said in an email: “A dedicated team of federal prosecutors and agents conducted a thorough investigation of Congressman Ney, which resulted in his guilty plea to felony corruption charges. I was proud to serve at the Department of Justice and of the work we did fighting public corruption while I was there.”
The book, titled “Sideswiped: Lessons Learned Courtesy of the Hit Men of Capitol Hill,” describes Ney’s battle with alcoholism.
“Bob went from being a functional alcoholic to a raging alcoholic. He smoked multiple packs of cigarettes a day and would drink beer all day long, starting with beer in his coffee cup early in the morning,” Ney’s former chief of staff, Matt Parker, wrote in a section of the book.
After a night of drinking, Ney said he decided the best thing he could do for his family before going broke paying lawyers’ fees was to commit ritual suicide. “I planned to do it right in front of the Department of Justice building with a letter in my pocket and one in the mail to the media, just in case someone from Justice found it on me and disposed of it,” Ney wrote.
Fortunately for Ney – and the Justice Department – his friends and his lawyers intervened. Instead, he entered alcoholism treatment at the Cleveland Clinic.
After exiting prison, a sobered-up and slimmed-down Ney became a follower of the Dalai Lama and studied meditation techniques with Tibetan monks at a Buddhist temple in India.