Renzi Charges Government Misconduct

Posted October 15, 2008 at 5:29pm

Indicted Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.) filed several motions on Wednesday to have the charges against him dropped, citing constitutional protections and alleged government misconduct.

Renzi claimed that much of the evidence the government presented to the grand jury is based on his legislative acts, which he said violates the Speech or Debate Clause of the Constitution.

The clause bars the government from using evidence related to legislative acts to prosecute Members of Congress.

Renzi is charged with using his legislative position to push a land deal to benefit a former business partner who owed him hundreds of thousands of dollars, and embezzling money from his family’s insurance firm for his first election campaign.

Renzi argued in his motions that the government’s case is directly based on land-swap legislation and the research and discussions related to it.

The Congressman also filed requests to dismiss money-laundering charges brought against him. He moved to suppress evidence from what he called unlawful wiretapping of his cell phone, cell phone records and searches of his family’s business.