FBI raids Abramoff-linked congressman’s home

/ Source: NBC News

U.S. Rep. John Doolittle's Northern Virginia home was raided by the FBI in recent days, NBC News has learned. The California Republican and his wife have been linked to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Law enforcement sources tell NBC producer Mike Kosnar that the raid, which occurred sometime before Tuesday, took place at Doolittle's house, which also is where his wife ran a fundraising company.

Doolittle's name came up in documents released by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee last summer as part of its investigation into the Abramoff influence-peddling scandals.

Julie Doolittle, Rep. Doolittle's wife, owned a fundraising firm, Sierra Dominion Financial Solutions. The firm was retained by Abramoff's law firm, Greenberg Traurig.

On Monday, Kevin Ring, a lobbyist also tied to Abramoff and who previously worked as an aide toDoolittle, resigned from the law firm where he worked.

A Roll Callarticle noted that Doolittle wrote a letter to then-Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton in support of the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa, an Abramoff client. The letter asked Norton to allow the tribe to reopen a gaming casino that had been shut down by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The letter was written at the same time that Sierra Dominion was receiving payments from Abramoff's lobbying firm.

Abramoff is currently serving a 5 1/2-year sentence for his conviction in the Florida-based SunCruz Casinos gambling boat fraud case. A federal judge has granted him a hearing to determine a reduction in his sentence as a reward for his continued cooperation in the Department of Justice probe.

Doolittle issued a statement about the reports of the search.

Doolittle said, "My wife has been cooperating with the FBI and the Justice Department for almost three years and that cooperation is going to continue in the future. I support my wife 100 percent and fully expect that the truth will prevail."

Doolittle has served in the House of Representatives since 1991. He represents California's 4th Congressional District and serves on the Appropriations Committee, Energy and Water, Interior, and Legislative Branch Subcommittees.