Saturday, November 26, 2005

John Doolittle on the hot seat?

Nov. 30 updates:
The apparent attempted murder of the chief investigator for Finance Committee chairman Chuck Grassley earlier this month:
Grassley is known for his aggressive oversight of the public and private sector. Over the past year, he has scrutinized healthcare fraud, organ-donation procedures used by hospitals, drug-safety matters and the use of nonprofit groups related to former lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
(although there are allegations...)

From today's Sacramento Bee article on Doolittle:
Doolittle's office has described Abramoff as a "close friend" of the congressman.

This could get interesting.

Via Washington Monthly:

From yesterday's Wall Street Journal:
Prosecutors in the department's public integrity and fraud divisions...are looking into Mr. Abramoff's interactions with former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas, Rep. Bob Ney (R., Ohio), Rep. John Doolittle (R., Calif.) and Sen. Conrad Burns (R., Mont.), according to several people close to the investigation.
[unlike DeLay and Ney] Spokespeople for Messrs. Doolittle and Burns said they haven't hired lawyers.
Mr. Doolittle's spokeswoman said the lawmaker hasn't been contacted by the Justice Department. Prosecutors often contact the subjects of investigations only after gathering significant information from others. The spokeswoman added that any suggestion that Mr. Doolittle "may have had some improper involvement in matters recently disclosed about Mr. Abramoff and others comes as a complete surprise and is simply ridiculous."
It isn't clear what involvement, if any, Mr. Doolittle had with Mr. Abramoff. The Justice Department subpoenaed documents more than a year ago from Mr. Doolittle's wife, a Republican fund-raiser. Mr. Abramoff also hired Kevin Ring, a top Doolittle aide. Mr. Ring declined to comment. It is unclear whether he or Mr. Doolittle are targets of the investigation.

In today's LA Times:
His onetime friendship with super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff has come back to haunt Rep. John T. Doolittle of Northern California, a member of the House Republican leadership, as the Justice Department continues its probe into Abramoff's dealings with lawmakers.

...the Washington Post reported late last year that the eight-term congressman from Roseville — a Mormon and staunch opponent of casino gambling — used Abramoff's luxury sports box in a Washington arena to host a fundraiser and then failed to report its value, as required by law.
Doolittle subsequently paid back Abramoff's firm for the use of the skybox and reported it on federal disclosure records.
...[The Justice Department did] subpoena documents from Doolittle's wife, Julia Doolittle, who hosted a fundraising event for an Abramoff charity, the Capital Athletic Foundation.
Doolittle has served in the House since 1990, after 10 years in the California state Senate.

Here's some background on Abramoff, including his days with the College Republicans. And here's background on the murder of the previous owner of the company Abramoff co-owned.

Previous post on Doolittle.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Have you read the Dump Doolittle blog?