Arizona Congressman Indicted

U.S. Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.), who won reelection two years ago despite allegations of corruption, was indicted today for extortion, wire fraud, money laundering and other charges related to a land deal in Arizona.

The federal investigation of Renzi figured in the uproar over the Justice Department's firing of U.S. attorneys allegedly for political reasons. The Post reported last April that Renzi's top aide had called the office of Arizona's U.S. attorney about six weeks before the prosecutor was fired, inquiring about the probe into the congressman's role in the land deal. The U.S. attorney at the time, Paul K. Charlton, alerted Justice officials about the call. Charlton was the third of nine U.S. attorneys forced to resign in 2006 who said that Republican members of Congress or their staffs made inappropriate overtures to their offices about politically sensitive investigations they were supervising.

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales resigned last August in the wake of the scandal. His political undoing stemmed from his tangled account of having approved the dismissals of the U.S. attorneys while denying detailed knowledge of the circumstances or reasons. You can see the chain of events in this Post special report on the Justice Department controversy.

And for a good rundown on the mechanics of the Renzi land deal that is at the heart of today's indictment, check out this article from last spring by the Wall Street Journal.

By The Editors |  February 22, 2008; 12:01 PM ET Congress
Previous: Investigations Elsewhere |


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While serving in Iraq in 2005, I visited the outsourced contract for the repair of mine seeking equipment (called Buffalo). I asked why 8 of the 10 Buffalo's were down for maintenance. The reply was there were no parts, nor people who could repair these specialized vehicles.

The company who had this particular contract was MANTECH. The president of the military division was form General Renze who retired in the late 1970's. He was alleged to be just the "front man" for the company on military contracts. His son is now the infamous Congressman Renzi of Arizona-today indicated for fraud.

When I return to the HQ of the Army's Materiel Command (AMC), I asked then COL L. why and how this situation could happen. The endstate was that these vehicles were not being used and soldiers were being killed by IED's and other roadside bombs. COL L's reply was that the issue is political with the inference that both Congressman Renzi and his father retired (1970's) General Renzi were in such a strong position that the contract with MANTECH could not be cancelled.

Again, the result of outsourcing critical repairs on our vehicles; the fraud of giving contracts to loyal Republican loyalists..and buying old time soldiers to front for a company..hopefully are coming to an end.

A person who may read this note may of lost a son or daughter KIA or maimed because of the fraud which was more the rule than the exception.

I would be more than happy to testify under penalty of perjury of this statement if the type of conduct of our elected leaders would forever stop. And for Senator McCain..well, the last trip to Iraq, Congressman Renzi was along telling the troops how proud he was onf them while at the same time taking from them their life's existence.

Posted by: RH-LTC US Army | February 22, 2008 12:42 PM

To RH-LTC US Army.

As a 100% disabled veteran from RVN I would like to say welcome home sir and Thank You for both your military service as well as for having the stones to speak out. A rarity among major officers.

Posted by: Gerald Schnaible | February 22, 2008 01:00 PM

i'm afraid this is simply another example of the creeping influence of power. once elected, politicians devote an inordinate amount of time to maintain their positions and will make deals with whatever devils they perceive can help them out, public service to their constituency be damned.

what is the solution? only an informed and and active electorate will make any changes in our governmental system. and what do you think is the chance of this happening?

Posted by: grasspress | February 22, 2008 01:31 PM

This is a horrendous story. Yet the top front page of the Washington Post mananges to stick a picture of some chick rolling out a red carpet for her oscar party, and an interactive: take the oscar dress quiz! This story got stuck below all that. Nothing to see, move along.

Posted by: | February 22, 2008 01:40 PM

Renzi even bullied his way in having all his kids accepted to summer camp at FAC even when he was told that enrollment was full, only because his politicl supporter in Flagstaff owned FAC. I know the counselors baby sat for me. what goes around comes around ricky. He even had a phony sausage company in town as his front. Someone should check the landswap deals down in Sierra Vista too that the Renzis engineered.

Posted by: Bill | February 22, 2008 01:49 PM

The sad part about this is that here in Arizona, this story has not been publicized until today. The dots have been there and reported on by smaller publications, but the major papers have just ignored it. Time to kick them all out.

Posted by: Mike | February 22, 2008 02:18 PM

No news here..Republican selling out the office for money? Republican cheating on his wife? Republican engaging in homosexual acts, denying he's gay? Republican molesting young men? Republican wrapped in the flag, selling out soldiers and veterans? Deeper and deeper they go.

Posted by: thebob.bob | February 22, 2008 02:24 PM

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