It appears that Jack Abramoff is plea-bargaining, with Tom DeLay as one of the counters on the table. That puts the prosecutors and their superiors in a very touchy position: they don’t need to be told that, if they go after DeLay but he survives, the DoJ budget is likely to suffer.
This is another excellent argument, it seems to me, for expelling DeLay from the House right away. And Chris Shays has just become the first Republican to call for him to step down as Majority Leader.
Meantime, Matt Yglesias points to a story from Kommersant (the Russian Wall Street Journal) that makes it clear that the sponsorship of DeLay’s “fact-finding” trip to Russia was no secret on the Russian end of things.