Sunday, January 08, 2006

The Dominoes Begin Falling

DeLay and two others [Reps. John T. Doolittle and Richard W. Pombo] helped put the brakes on a federal probe of a businessman.
Evidence was published in the Congressional Record.

latimes.com WASHINGTON — In a case that echoes the Jack Abramoff influence-peddling scandal, two Northern California Republican congressmen used their official positions to try to stop a federal investigation of a wealthy Texas businessman who provided them with political contributions.

Reps. John T. Doolittle and Richard W. Pombo joined forces with former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas to oppose an investigation by federal banking regulators into the affairs of Houston millionaire Charles Hurwitz, documents recently obtained by The Times show. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was seeking $300 million from Hurwitz for his role in the collapse of a Texas savings and loan that cost taxpayers $1.6 billion.

The investigation was ultimately dropped.

The effort to help Hurwitz began in 1999 when DeLay wrote a letter to the chairman of the FDIC denouncing the investigation of Hurwitz as a "form of harassment and deceit on the part of government employees." When the FDIC persisted, Doolittle and Pombo — both considered proteges of DeLay — used their power as members of the House Resources Committee to subpoena the agency's confidential records on the case, including details of the evidence FDIC investigators had compiled on Hurwitz.

Then, in 2001, the two congressmen inserted many of the sensitive documents into the Congressional Record, making them public and accessible to Hurwitz's lawyers, a move that FDIC officials said damaged the government's ability to pursue the banker.

The FDIC's chief spokesman characterized what Doolittle and Pombo did as "a seamy abuse of the legislative process."...(more)


(related posts)
So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu. Adieu, adieu, to yieu
Abramoff Makes Plea Deal, Will Cooperate
Corruption likes Company: Delay and Duke
Tom Delay Is A Big Fat Lying Hypocrite
Abramoff lawyers in talks with DOJ
2nd Columnist Canned for Taking Abramoff $ For Columns
Abramoff Partner Pleads Guilty
In Messages, Lobbyist Says DeLay Pressed for Donation
Abramoff charity's claims disputed
How Abramoff Spread the Wealth

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