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Calif. congressman’s home searched in Abramoff case

Times Staff Writer

FBI agents have searched the northern Virginia home of Rep. John T. Doolittle (R-Roseville) in a continuing investigation into the influence-peddling scandal involving former Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

The search Friday related to the activities of a political consulting firm owned by Doolittle’s wife, the congressman’s office confirmed Wednesday. Julie Doolittle worked for Abramoff from 2002 to 2004.

The congressman, who narrowly won reelection last fall, came under attack in the campaign for his ties to Abramoff and the 15% cut that his wife’s company took on campaign contributions that were raised for her husband.

Doolittle has denied any wrongdoing.

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His lawyer, David Barger, confirmed the search warrant, saying in a statement that it was “limited to financial documents related to Mrs. Doolittle’s company, Sierra Dominion Financial Solutions Inc. and not to Congressman Doolittle.”

Doolittle said in a statement that his wife had been cooperating with the FBI and the Justice Department for almost three years and pledged that the “cooperation is going to continue.”

“I support my wife 100% and fully expect that the truth will prevail,” the statement said.

The FBI declined to comment.

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Democrats who highlighted congressional ethics in their successful campaign last year to wrest control of Congress from Republicans pounced on word of the search.

Charlie Brown, Doolittle’s Democratic opponent last fall, issued a statement.

“It is my sincere hope that the ongoing investigation will bring the era of corruption and scandal-ridden politics to a close, so that we can move forward on addressing the real priorities of the American people,” Brown said.

Doolittle recently announced that his wife’s firm would no longer serve as a fundraising consultant to his campaign.

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A Senate investigation into Abramoff’s activities found that Julie Doolittle was paid $66,690 by Abramoff’s firm Greenberg Traurig from September 2002 to February 2004.

Records of her work for Abramoff were previously subpoenaed.

Abramoff, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy, mail fraud and other charges, is in federal prison and has been cooperating with the FBI investigation.

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richard.simon@latimes.com


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