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DOJ Timing Questioned in Corruption Case

Posted Apr 25, 2007 10:27 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The U.S. Department of Justice moved slowly in approving search warrants and subpoenas in a corruption probe of U.S. Rep. Rick Renzi, R-Ariz., before November elections.

The delays raise questions about whether politics influenced the timing, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.). U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton, who was overseeing the case, was one of eight U.S. attorneys fired by the Justice Department.

A DOJ spokesman denies any delays and says no U.S. attorneys were fired because of corruption investigations. Agents are investigating a $200,000 payment from a former business partner to Renzi that they suspect was a kickback; a lawyer for Renzi denies wrongdoing, saying the ex-partner was repaying a debt.

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