Another Congressman Falls Under FBI Scrutiny

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) is the next name to surface as a subject of scrutiny by federal investigators, Roll Call reports today. Late last month, the FBI pulled his financial disclosure records from Congress. The paper says the inquiry is an outgrowth of the Cunningham investigation.

Calvert told Roll Call he welcomes the inquiry. “I assume the FBI is just doing their due diligence in looking at government agencies and officials from our area. I have not been contacted by the FBI,” he told the paper in a statement.

Calvert accompanied former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham on a trip to Saudi Arabia in December 2003. He got some bad press recently from the Los Angeles Times, which revealed he had profited from land deals whose value increased as a result of his legislative actions. The FBI searched his financial records eight days after that story broke, Roll Call reports.

The probe is particularly bad news for Calvert, because he was widely considered to be the top choice to replace soon-to-be-former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) on the House Appropriations Committee.

The paper also found that the FBI had looked at financial disclosure records for House Appropriations Chair Jerry Lewis (R-CA), Lewis’ wife and staff director, Arlene Willis, and his two aides-turned-lobbyists, Jeffrey Shockey and Letitia White.

To date, five congressmen have been identified as subjects of investigators’ interest as part of the Cunningham probe: Lewis, Calvert, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), DeLay, and Cunningham himself. All are Republicans; all but DeLay represent California districts.