An Arizona judge has thrown out all evidence resulting from a government wiretap in the corruption case of former Rep. Rick Renzi. The judge also declined to throw out the indictment in his decision on Friday, letting the charges stand.
Renzi is charged with extortion, money laundering, wire fraud, embezzlement and other crimes. Renzi, a Republican from Arizona, allegedly used his seat to strongarm people into buying land from a friend, who then kicked back money to Renzi in complicated financial transactions. He was indicted in February 2008.
The FBI was granted a 30-day wiretap in October 2006. Renzi’s attorneys argued that investigators captured conversations between Renzi and his lawyers and Renzi and his wife, violating both attorney-client and spousal privileges. They tried to have the charges thrown out, but the judge ruled that the indictment stands because the prosecution never heard the bulk of the privileged calls.
Check out all of TPMmuckraker’s coverage on Renzi.