Former Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA), who retired in 2008 while under investigation as part of the probe of lobbyist Jack Abramoff, announced last week that the Department of Justice has closed its investigation of him and will not press charges.
The DOJ declined to comment to TPMmuckraker.
Abramoff had hired Doolittle’s wife’s firm for event planning work; Abramoff gave Doolittle’s office $140,000 over the years; and Abramoff allegedly gave gifts like tickets to the Washington Redskins to Doolittle’s staff in exchange for legislative favors.
Doolittle’s former legislative director, Kevin Ring, went to work for Abramoff. He has been implicated in the lobbyist’s scandals and faces a re-trial after his first trial ended in a hung jury. In the charges against Ring, Doolittle and his wife were named as unindicted co-conspirators.
Doolittle’s home was raided by the FBI in April 2007, and in September 2007, prosecutors subpoenaed “virtually every record including legislative records” for the previous 11 years. He announced he would not seek re-election in January 2008.
Doolittle told McClatchy that he had his lawyer call the DOJ before Memorial Day to see where the department was in its investigation. Doolittle said he wanted to find out so it would be easier for him to find a job.
Doolittle said he’s been “in between jobs” for the past month and a half.
Abramoff, after serving three and a half years in a federal prison, was recently released to a halfway house in Maryland.