The Daily Muck

FBI Raids Renzi Family Business, Congressman Leaves Intelligence Panel
“In a second blow to House Republicans this week, the FBI raided a business tied to the family of Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.) Thursday afternoon as part of an ongoing investigation into the three-term lawmaker. Details of the raid on Patriot Insurance Agency in Sonoita, Ariz., were not immediately available.” (Roll Call)Gonzales Lied To Senator About Plan To Install Rove Protege As U.S. Attorney
“In today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Attorney General Aberto Gonzales tried to claim that he never intended to take advantage of a Patriot Act provision that allows the administration to indefinitely name “interim” U.S. attorneys and avoid Senate confirmation. But in a Dec. 19, 2006 e-mail, Gonzales’s then-chief of staff Kyle Sampson wrote an e-mail explaining the administration’s plan for installing Karl Rove’s protege Tim Griffin as U.S. attorney in Arkansas.” (Think Progress)

Gonzales Says He Didn’t Know Why Two Were Fired
“Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales testified yesterday that when he approved the firings of seven U.S. attorneys on a single day late last year he did not know why two of the prosecutors were on the list. Gonzales, summoned to Capitol Hill to clarify the murky rationale for the dismissals, said he was not surprised by the names of five prosecutors presented to him by his then-chief of staff.” (Washington Post)

David Iglesias Comments on Gonzales Hearing
“Iglesias watched the hearings from a naval base at Newport, R.I. He’s finishing a naval reserve deployment and called the hearings ‘painful to watch.’ ‘I can only liken Mr. Gonzales’ testimony to a bloodied swimmer in a shark tank. He’s really getting beat up,’ Iglesias said.” (KOAT Albuquerque)

Ruling Congress, Dems Rolling in Special Interest Cash
“The campaign coffers of the new Democratic House committee chairmen have seen a big jump in contributions from lobbyists and special interests since the Democratic takeover of Congress, according to new campaign finance filings available on In some cases, Democrats in powerful posts are raising more money from special interest groups than the Republicans they replaced.” (ABC’s The Blotter)

World Bank Confers on Wolfowitz
“The World Bank’s board met privately Thursday to discuss President Paul Wolfowitz, whose leadership has been thrown into turmoil by revelations that he helped his girlfriend get a high-paying job. It was unclear what action, if any, the 24-member board would take in the matter. Many of the bank’s employees, aid groups and some Democratic politicians want Wolfowitz to resign.” (Associated Press)

Wolfowitz Backed Friend for Iraq Contract in 2003
“Paul D. Wolfowitz, while serving as deputy secretary of defense, personally recommended that his companion, Shaha Ali Riza, be awarded a contract for travel to Iraq in 2003 to advise on setting up a new government, says a previously undisclosed inquiry by the Pentagon’s inspector general. The inquiry, as described by a senior Pentagon official, concluded that there was no wrongdoing in Mr. Wolfowitz’s role in the hiring of Ms. Riza by the Science Applications International Corporation, a Pentagon contractor, because Ms. Riza had the expertise required to advise on the role of women in Islamic countries.” (NY Times)

Foley Paid Legal Bills with Leftover Campaign Cash
“Former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley is racking up huge legal bills defending himself against potential criminal charges in the Internet teen sex scandal that led to his resignation and is paying them with leftover campaign contributions. Foley spent $206,000 in campaign cash on lawyers from November to January, according to recent filings with the Federal Election Commission.” (The Ledger)

Testimony Alleges Mismanagement of Federal Reading Program
“Federal advisors mismanaged President Bush’s $1 billion-a-year reading program and profited from close ties to the Bush administration, according to testimony released Thursday — in one case repeatedly rejecting one state’s funding proposal until state officials dumped a successful reading test and bought one written by a top Bush advisor. In the first of two expected hearings, scheduled for Friday, House lawmakers will probe alleged mismanagement of Bush’s $1 billion-a-year Reading First program.” (USA TODAY)

Three Days After Guilty Plea, Griles Ties the Knot
“The union of former Deputy Interior Secretary J. Steven Griles and Sue Ellen Wooldridge could have implications for the investigation into Griles’s ties to ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. They were married March 26, three days after Griles pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about his relationship with Abramoff and a previous romantic partner. Wooldridge was the top environmental prosecutor at the Department of Justice (DoJ) before she resigned in January.” (The Hill)

Audit: Martinez Campaign Exceeded Federal Contribution Limits
“Sen. Mel Martinez’s 2004 campaign contributions exceded federal limits by over $300,000, the Federal Election Commission said Wednesday in its final audit of the campaign. The FEC does not impose penalties, but it did say in its report that it could take enforcement action at any time against the Republican senator.” (Pensacola News Journal)

Exiting From the Game Doesn’t Dispel Clouds
“FBI agents continue to interview aides to former Rep. DeLay, offering immunity in exchange for testimony, individuals close to the investigation say. Justice officials ask whether former aides paid the Texas Republican’s wife $3,200 a month for a no-show job at their lobbying firm. DeLay, who retired last year, is on a book tour.” (Wall Street Journal)

Justice Department Given Two Weeks to Weigh Use of Classified Data in Espionage Case
“The Justice Department yesterday was given until May 2 to determine how it wants to proceed in the controversial prosecution of two former pro-Israel lobbyists charged with violating the 1917 Espionage Act after the federal judge in the case turned down prosecutors’ attempt to close from public scrutiny a substantial portion of the trial in order to protect classified information.” (Washington Post)