Saturday, April 21, 2007

Congressman's Wife Subject of FBI Search in Abramoff Probe

FBI agents searched the Virginia home of California Congressman John Doolittle as part of the continuing probe of the Capitol Hill connections of former superlobbyist Jack Abramoff.  Representative Doolittle's wife, Julie, runs Sierra Dominion Financial Services, which was paid over $60,000 by Abramoff's firm from 2002 to 2004 for event planning, and other Abramoff clients made substantial contributions to Representative Doolittle's campaigns.  Interestingly, the company was subpoenaed for its records earlier, so the search was likely triggered by additional information about records that were not furnished and, perhaps, a fear that they would disappear.  Abramoff has been cooperating with the government's continuing corruption investigation that has already netted guilty pleas from one Congressman and a number of House aides.  Representative Doolittle stepped down from his position on the House Appropriations Committee, and has vowed to fight any federal charges if they are brought.  Doolittle has been in Congress since 1991, although he won reelection in 2006 by only 49%-45%.  A News10 (Sacramento) story (here) discusses the search, although Representative Doolittle's blog (here) makes no mention of it or the investigation. (ph)

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