The Justice Department pulled the personal financial records of at least nine Members of Congress and at least seven former staffers last summer and fall, many of whom have been identified publicly as having links to ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, ROLL CALL reports Monday. Excerpts:
In a stretch running from June to October, a pair of aides at Justice examined the financial disclosure forms of Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), Reps. Tom DeLay (R-Texas), John Doolittle (R-Calif.) and Bob Ney (R-Ohio), as well as ex-staffers for three of those lawmakers, according to House and Senate records.
While Justice officials declined to comment, many of the financial searches appear to be connected to the continuing two-year probe of Abramoff’s dealings on Capitol Hill and with the Bush administration. In addition, the agency looked over the financial records of several lawmakers who have had no public connection to the investigation: Reps. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and John Sweeney (R-N.Y.), as well as Del. Eni Faleomavaega (D-American Samoa).
Aides to most of those lawmakers denied their bosses had any connection to the Abramoff probe, suggesting Justice must have been pulling their records for some other, unrelated reasons.
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