Ney blamed the drinking for his failure to declare all his gambling winnings in a London trip. “I was a functional alcoholic who was hurting myself--using bad judgment and not thinking clearly. This gave the [Justice] Department the leverage they needed to pressure me on the Abramoff case.”
He blasts prosecutor Alice S. Fisher as “undoubtedly the most covert, manipulative, cunning, stealth, vicious, cold-hearted instrument of evil that Karl Rove and the Bush administration had.” He wrote that she “along with Alberto Gonzales, Andy Card, Karl Rove, and President Bush shredded the Constitution of the United States and did as they pleased.” He blames his decision to take a plea on his inability to come up with the $3 million he would need to pay his attorneys. “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.”
Ney reveals in his book that before taking the plea he planned a dramatic public suicide to shed light on the prosecutors’ tactics. “After a night of drinking ... I concluded that it was better for my children financially if I were to die before going broke,” he wrote, adding, “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.” He said he considered the plan “unique, perfect, and damning--the ultimate payback to Bush and Gonzales.” But the night before he was going to do it, friends and his lawyers intervened and got him to enter alcoholism treatment at the Cleveland Clinic.
Ney, now 58 and working as a talk-show host for Talk Radio News Service, says he wrote the book “as a way to atone for my sins” and to help people “understand what is really going on in the halls of the shiny Capitol I so love.”
Of his own actions, he wrote, “In dealing with Jack Abramoff, I crossed the line. It was not direct bribery and we could not be charged with that, but it surely was not good, nor was it legal. I ate and drank free at his expense, traveled with him to Scotland, and threw the ethics laws to the wind.” He said he could rationalize his actions. “Nevertheless, whichever way I look at it, it was wrong, illegal, unethical, and immoral.” Despite his complaints about the prosecutors, he concludes that he did things “that I am absolutely responsible for and could have stopped in a New York minute with a snap of a finger. I am the one to blame--not Jack Abramoff.... A person cannot be corrupted by someone. I was the one who allowed it to happen.”
In a surprise twist, he disclosed that he considered a political comeback last year when friends urged him to run for his old seat in Ohio. “It was tempting in 2012.... However, the motivation and the timing for me to run just weren’t there,” he wrote. He also might have had a tough time fitting in with his fellow Republicans--he boasts that, in 2008, he proudly voted for President Obama.