Friday, April 20, 2007

Second House Republican Raided By FBI In A Week

I guess the Grand Old Party culture of corruption didn't end with their monumental defeat in last November's midterms.

Last Friday the FBI raided the Virginia home of Congressman John Doolittle (R-California) as part of a corruption investigation related to the Jack Abramoff scandal. After the raid was made public by the press, Doolittle temporarily stepped down from the Appropriations Committee.

Yesterday, the FBI raided a business tied to Congressman Rick Renzi (R-Arizona):

In a second blow to House Republicans this week, the FBI raided a business tied to the family of Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.) Thursday afternoon as part of an ongoing investigation into the three-term lawmaker.

Details of the raid on Patriot Insurance Agency in Sonoita, Ariz., were not immediately available. Renzi’s most recent financial disclosure form lists the business as an asset belonging to his wife, Roberta, and valued at $1 million to $5 million.

Little is known about the inquiries into Renzi’s activities, but according to media reports the Justice Department has been running a two-track investigation into Renzi regarding a land deal, as well as a piece of legislation he helped steer that may have improperly benefited a major campaign contributor. It was not immediately clear which investigation the raid pertained to, and neither his attorney nor his spokesman could be immediately reached for comment.

As a result of the raid, Renzi is stepping down from his seat on the House Intelligence Committee, according to a statement from his office obtained Thursday evening by Roll Call.

“Today, the FBI came to my family’s business to obtain documents related to their investigation,” Renzi said. “I view these actions as the first step in bringing out the truth. Until this matter is resolved, I will take a leave of absence from the House Intelligence Committee. I intend to fully cooperate with this investigation.”

You gotta love when a congressman is facing two separate FBI investigations and the news story about the raid of his business has to try and analyze which criminal investigation the raid is related to.

Culture of Corruption indeed.

POSTSCRIPT: Republicans both in and out of the Senate went at Alberto Gonzales yesterday. Here's the NY Times' analysis of how Gonzales did in his Senate hearing:

Not a single Republican, with the possible exception of Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, came to Mr. Gonzales’s defense — not even his old Texas friend Senator John Cornyn. And Mr. Gonzales did not help himself with his testimony that while he took full responsibility for removing federal prosecutors, he did not have a clear idea of why he had done so in some cases until he reviewed paperwork after the dismissals.

It was no surprise that the Democrats on the panel skewered Mr. Gonzales. But it was also apparent that even Republicans had serious doubts about his fitness for the job.


With Democrats and a handful of Republicans already calling for Mr. Gonzales’s head, the White House — which has publicly stood by him — is waiting to see if more Republicans will defect.

On Thursday, one did: Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who told Mr. Gonzales pointedly that he should resign. “I believe you ought to suffer the consequences that these others have suffered,” the senator said, referring to the United States attorneys who had been forced out. Mr. Coburn added that he believed “the best way to put this behind us is your resignation.”

The sense that Mr. Gonzales had failed to convince even members of his own party that he deserved to keep his job extended beyond the hearing room. By noon, Byron York, a correspondent for the conservative National Review, had written in an online analysis that it had been “a disastrous morning” for Mr. Gonzales. Republicans were wondering aloud how long the attorney general could last.

“It sounds like he walked into a firing squad without a gun,” said Charlie Black, a strategist close to the White House, after discussing the testimony with several other Republicans. Of the Republican senators, Mr. Black said, “They just think this was amateur hour, and they should not be expected to defend it.”

Can even "The Decider" really decide to continue to protect Gonzales out of loyalty when every Repub but Orin Hatch is looking for Gonzo's head?

You gotta love when a congressman is facing two separate FBI investigations and the news story about the raid of his business has to try and analyze which criminal investigation the raid is related to.


That was a really good one.

As to your second question, yes, the Decider can continue to back Abu, Wolfie, and all the rest just like he backs his actions in Iraq.

It never ends.
That Wolfie thing is amazing, pt. Dana Milbank said on Countdown tonight that here you have Wolfie, the man who helped engineer a war that has cost hundreds of billions of dollars more than he said it would and taken hundreds of thousands of more lives and he's gonna go down for nepotism.
True, but even more ironic is that fact that Wofowitz is spearheading a campaign to fight graft and favoritism in the World Bank. He must, then, be beyond reproach in this regard.

I mean, the hypocrisy makes one's head spin!
Yeah, Wolfie came in as a "reformer"!

Ha! He's a Bush reformer, of course, which means he doles out the patronage to his own cronies while claiming the moral high ground w/ a straight face.

The hypocrisy does make your head spin.
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