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Back-Page Plea Deal

The story did not make the A section of either the Washington Post or the Baltimore Sun, but a former researcher for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which is chaired by Sen. Charles Schumer (D.-N.Y.), made a plea agreement with federal prosecutors last week to avoid going to jail for fraudulently obtaining the credit report of Maryland GOP Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, who is running for the U.S. Senate. Steele, an African-American conservative, has been the target of a dirty campaign by national Democrats since the day he began running for the Senate.

Lauren Weiner, the Democratic opposition researcher who secured Steele’s credit report by fraudulently using Steele’s Social Security number, will do 150 hours of community service.

"Under the Fair Credit Act, it is a felony to willfully and knowingly obtain information from a consumer reporting agency under false pretenses," the Sun said in a report in its B section. "Offenders can be fined and imprisoned."

Weiner, however, will plead guilty only to a misdemeanor. "She made a mistake," her lawyer said.

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