Jury Selection Begins for Abramoff Associate's Trial

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 8, 2009; 11:44 AM

Jury selection began Tuesday in the federal trial of Kevin A. Ring, an associate of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who is accused of lavishing tickets and trips on lawmakers and government officials in return for their help for his clients.

Ring, 38, of Kensington was indicted last year in the District's federal court on 10 counts of conspiracy, honest services fraud and obstruction of justice. He is only the second person tied to the Abramoff scandal to go to trial. The other, David Safavian, a former top White House aide, was convicted last year of lying to investigators about a golf trip to Scotland and his ties to Abramoff. Sixteen others, including Abramoff and one lawmaker, have pleaded guilty in the probe.

Ring's attorneys have said he did nothing wrong and accused the government of pressuring him into pleading guilty to crimes he did not commit. The trial is before U.S. District Judge Ellen S. Huvelle. Jury selection could last several days.

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