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Doolittle says feds intimidated him, wife

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May 10, 2007

Rep John Doolittle
Rep. Doolittle (AP)

California Rep. John Doolittle, under scrutiny in the Jack Abramoff congressional corruption case, charged Wednesday that the government tried to strong-arm his wife to get him to admit to committing a crime.

When he wouldn't, FBI agents searched his home to intimidate and pressure him and his wife, Doolittle said.

The Republican congressman made the comments in a radio interview with his wife, Julie, on "The Tom Sullivan Show" on radio station KFBK-AM in Sacramento, Calif.

Justice Department spokesman Bryan Sierra declined to comment.

Doolittle had written an opinion piece over the weekend in the Auburn (Calif.) Journal, is his home district, accusing the government of leaking word of last month's FBI search on his home to coincide with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' Senate testimony on the fired U.S. attorneys controversy.

He went further in Wednesday's interview, and his wife also spoke out for the first time.

Doolittle, a nine-term incumbent, recounted that a few weeks before the search, his and his wife's attorneys met with government prosecutors.

"It became apparent to us that there is an attempt by the government to strong-arm Julie in order to get me to admit to a crime that I did not commit," Doolittle said. "And in our mind, as a result of my refusing to admit to a crime I did not commit, the government searched our home in what we believe was little more than an attempt to intimidate and pressure us."

Doolittle's attorney, David Barger, declined to comment.

The search warrant executed April 13 at the Doolittles' Oakton, Va., home was for Julie Doolittle's bookkeeping and event-planning business. The home business had done work for Abramoff, the one-time GOP superlobbyist who's cooperating in a wide-ranging influence-peddling investigation.

John Doolittle was friends with Abramoff and accepted campaign money from him while working to advance Abramoff's clients' interests. He has said he believes prosecutors are scrutinizing his wife's business to see whether she did real work for real clients.

Doolittle also noted Wednesday that he's the only lawmaker left in Congress connected to the Abramoff case, suggesting that if prosecutors want to nail a sitting congressman, it has to be him. Others have retired or been defeated while one former lawmaker, former GOP Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio, pleaded guilty in the case.

"If you really want to get a congressman I'm the one that's left," Doolittle said.

Julie Doolittle defended her business, Sierra Dominion Financial Solutions Inc., and said FBI agents have gone into the homes and businesses of her bookkeeping clients.

"This isn't a fly-by-night type of business that I'm involved in; it's something that is real," she said.

Abramoff's lobby firm retained Sierra Dominion in September 2002 for about $5,000 a month. The arrangement lasted through February 2004 though a fundraiser Julie Doolittle was hired to plan was canceled after the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

5 Responses to Doolittle says feds intimidated him, wife

  1. Sandy Price

    May 10, 2007 at 8:18 am

    Throw him out!

  2. Bill Jonke

    May 10, 2007 at 11:12 am

    He’s all for the average American having this happen, but he feels like he shouldn’t be subjected to it due to his “position.”

    I feel sorry for the poor Republican crybaby.

  3. Donnat

    May 10, 2007 at 11:51 am

    what a fitting name for a Republian congressman

    Doolittle else but stuff your pockets with bribe money and investigate baseball players on steroids while our young people die overseas.
    Donnat

  4. Steve Horn

    May 10, 2007 at 12:01 pm

    How about “what a fitting name for a congressman” ?? The democrats aren’t exactly taking activist stances, from what I’ve been observing from the far left.

    Near as I an tell they’re blowing a lot of hot wind about the war, but not doing a damn thing to try and stop it.

    As for “intimidation” – if you’re clean then an investigation should be, at worst, a temporary inconvenience while at the same time being a way to clear your name of any shadow of doubt. If you’re dirty THEN I can see where you could find an investigation to be a threat of some sort to your future happiness and freedom.

    After all – you don’t hide nothin ….

    Peace

    Steve

  5. wiseoldgranny

    May 11, 2007 at 12:57 am

    INVESTIGATION — DOOLITTLE SUBPOENAED: “Another, Representative John T. Doolittle, Republican of California, has acknowledged that his wife, who helped Mr. Abramoff organize fund-raisers, was subpoenaed.” [New York Times, 11/20/05]

    CAPITAL ATHLETIC FOUNDATION — DOOLITTLE RAISED FUNDS FOR ABRAMOFF’S BOGUS ORGANIZATION: “You get tired of dinners and receptions. This time we wanted to do a gala event to raise awareness for the Capital Athletic Foundation, and back that awareness up with funds,” said Doolittle in 2003. But, the Capital Athletic Foundation didn’t raise money for children, as it was advertised to do. “[T]ax and spending records of the Capital Athletic Foundation obtained by The Washington Post show that less than 1 percent of its revenue has been spent on sports-related programs for youths. Instead, the documents show that Jack Abramoff…has repeatedly channeled money from corporate clients into the foundation and spent the overwhelming portion of its money on pet projects having little to do with the advertised sportsmanship programs.” [Hollywood Reporter, 3/5/03; Washington Post, 9/28/04]

    Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA)

    CONTRIBUTIONS — DOOLITTLE RECEIVED $64,500 FROM ABRAMOFF, HIS PARTNERS, AND HIS CLIENTS: Doolittle received $64,500 in Abramoff-related donations between 2001 and 2004. [AP, 11/17/05]

    GIFTS — DOOLITTLE FAILED TO REPORT USE OF ABRAMOFF SKYBOXES: Hayworth, Doolittle, and Ney “were allowed free use of Abramoff’s sports skyboxes for fund-raisers held as long ago as 1999. They didn’t declare the value of the accommodations until records surfaced in ongoing U.S. Senate and criminal investigations of suspected exploitation by the lobbyist in charging six Indian tribes $82 million for representation.” [Arizona Republic, 5/10/05]

    CRONYISM — ABRAMOFF HIRED DOOLITTLE’S WIFE AND HIS CHIEF OF STAFF: “Abramoff’s connections to Doolittle are also of interest to investigators, sources said.
    Doolittle’s former chief of staff, Kevin A. Ring, went to work with Abramoff.
    Doolittle’s wife, Julie, owned a consulting firm that was hired by Abramoff and his firm, Greenberg Traurig, to do fundraising for a charity he founded. Two sources close to the investigation said that Ring, while working for Abramoff, was an intermediary in the hiring of Julie Doolittle’s firm, Sierra Dominion Financial Solutions Inc., which last year received a subpoena from the grand jury investigating Abramoff.” [Washington Post, 11/26/05]

    COUSHATTA CAMPAIGN — DOOLITTLE RECEIVED OVER $30,000 FROM ABRAMOFF AND HIS CLIENTS: One of Abramoff’s tribal clients, the Coushattas, “opposed a plan by the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians to open a casino at a non-reservation site, expected at the time to be outside Shreveport, La., not far from a casino owned by the Coushattas.” On February 27, 2002, “27 lawmakers told Norton she should reject the Jena casino because gambling was a societal blight.” Rep. John Doolittle, R-Calif., received $1,000 from Abramoff several weeks after he signed a February 27, 2002 letter to Norton then got $16,000 from two of Abramoff’s casino-operating tribal clients about two months later. By year’s end [2002], Doolittle also had used Abramoff’s restaurant to cater a campaign event and received an additional $15,000 from tribes. [Washington Post, 9/28/04; AP, 11/17/05]

    Doolittle’s memory must fell down the ‘black hole’.