Lowell asked that Abramoff serve a total of 43 months for all of his crimes, including the 22 months he has already served in a federal penitentiary in western Maryland.
In preparation for sentencing, Lowell presented dozens of personal letters from friends and professional associates attesting to Abramoffs generosity, faith and strength of character.
Lowell said Abramoff had been caricatured as a demon, when in fact many of his activities such as providing gifts and meals to public officials took a practice that was tolerated as falling within the law and stretched it out of bounds so that it became clearly illegal.
Despite the reams of negative press, said Lowell in his pre-sentencing brief to the court, Abramoffs transgressions are not on par with recent allegations that public officials were given cash from those seeking to improperly influence them, public officials hiding that cash in freezers, public officials accepting a government contractor renovating their houses, a reference to Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) and Sen. Ted Stevens, (R-Alaska), both of whom are under federal indictments.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.