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Congressman to fight DOJ subpoena in Abramoff probe

[JURIST] US Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA) [official website] said Thursday that he would fight subpoenas issued by the US Department of Justice [official website] for documents, including legislative records, relating to disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff [JURIST news archive]. Doolittle's lawyer said that the Justice Department had overstepped its authority in demanding the documents, noting that the Constitution forbids the executive branch from intervening in legislative affairs. The subpoenas reportedly call for Doolittle and five members of his staff to turn over almost 11 years worth of records.

Last year, Abramoff pleaded guilty [JURIST report] in federal court in Florida to two conspiracy and fraud charges stemming from the 2000 purchase of the SunCruz Casino [corporate website] as part of a plea agreement [PDF text] with federal prosecutors that would reduce his punishment in exchange for favorable testimony in future DOJ corruption cases. The DOJ is also investigating Abramoff's ties with former house majority leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) [official website; JURIST news archive], Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) [official website], Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) [official website], 17 current and former congressional aides, and two former Bush administration officials in the Interior Department and government procurement office. AP has more.

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