Facing FBI Scrutiny, Dem Vows He Won’t Touch Justice Budget

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Despite chairing the House panel which oversees the Justice Department budget, Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV) has sworn he won’t meddle with the Feds’ money, Congressional Quarterly reports (sub. req.) today.

Since Mollohan is the subject of an FBI investigation, that’s probably a smart move.

Concerns were raised last November when it was noticed that Mollohan was poised to take the chairmanship of the Commerce Justice State Appropriations Subcommittee, from which he would hold of the purse strings for Justice and its law enforcement arm.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi didn’t see the big deal. “I think the Justice Department is looking into every member of Congress,” she told a news crew last week. Mollohan, thankfully, was a little less myopic. “To make certain that there is no basis for criticism of my service on the CJS Subcommittee, I have decided to recuse myself from any related Justice Department accounts,” he wrote to colleagues in a letter obtained by CQ.

Meanwhile, the top Republican on the Appropriations committee is also under federal investigation, but he hasn’t made any noises about recusing himself from meddling with the Justice Department budget. Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA), the committee’s ranking member, has blown over $800,000 in legal bills defending himself against aggressive investigators.