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Not all the accused college admissions rigging parents are going gentle into that good night, even as federal law enforcement turn up the pressure on their children.

Not all the accused college admissions rigging parents are going gentle into that good night, even as federal law enforcement turn up the pressure on their children.

The big picture, from The Chronicle of Higher Ed: "[I]n the wake of the Operation Varsity Blues scandal, many wonder whether the most elite institutions are more concerned with perpetuating privilege than contributing to the public good.”

Among the parents, those not pleading guilty are marshaling legal defenses that only millions can buy, Bloomberg reports.

  • "Ilene Jaroslaw, who once prosecuted federal crimes in New York, called the defense lawyers’ letter 'a declaration of war.'”
  • Between the lines: One couple "invoked a 1946 Supreme Court case ... in which a broker was accused of conspiring with 32 loan applicants ... The high court reversed the resulting convictions, noting the defendants had only the broker in common, not one another, and that there were at least eight separate conspiracies, not just one as alleged."

Meanwhile, certain teens the government suspects of knowing about the alleged conspiracy are getting "so-called target letters," the WSJ reports.

  • The letters "don’t mean the students or graduates who received them will face charges. However, they could prompt the recipients to speak to authorities and push parents to plead in the hopes of protecting their children from additional prosecution, said others knowledgeable about the case."
  • "Thirteen parents have agreed to plead guilty, with another in talks to do so, according to court filings, while 19 others have been indicted on conspiracy charges related to money laundering and mail or wire fraud."

The bottom line: We're in an unprecedented moment of public scrutiny on how Americans receive different life outcomes based on the circumstances of their birth.

  • If the parents of rich kids start to get off on charges despite being caught on tape, expect that uncomfortable spotlight on wealth and ethics (or the lack thereof) to get even brighter.

Go deeper: Bill McGlashan previews his defense in college bribery case

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”