Renzi Seeks to Bar Use of Conversations With His Attorneys

Posted May 23, 2008 at 3:52pm

Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.) has asked a federal court to require the government to return and disregard audio files and transcripts of conversations with his attorneys obtained during the government’s corruption investigation.

The government recorded at least 50 calls and voice mails between Renzi and his attorneys during the 30-day wiretap of the Congressman’s cell phone, according to documents filed Friday with the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona.

The allegedly privileged calls involve five attorneys retained by Renzi, including his criminal defense counsel and an attorney representing him in a Federal Elections Commission investigation. Not all the attorneys named in the document are directly involved in the federal corruption case, but one, Kelly Kramer, is currently representing the Arizona Congressman.

“These privileged calls reflect discussions regarding legal strategy and core work product, including the direction of the investigation, witness interviews, [Department of Justice] strategy, Congressman Renzi’s recollection of relevant issues and legal advice theories of prosecution and applicable defenses,” Renzi’s attorney argues.

At least a dozen of the calls have already been introduced to Renzi’s co-defendants in discovery, but the co-defendants have already agreed not to review the materials.

The 35-count indictment against Renzi alleges that he used his office to push a land deal that would benefit a former colleague who owed him hundreds of thousands of dollars and embezzled more than $400,000 from his family’s insurance business to fund his first election bid. The trial, originally scheduled to start April 29, is set to begin Oct. 14.