OK

Just in from Josh Marshall and Talking Points Memo is the story of committee-resigning Rep. Rick Renzi's ties to the ever-mushrooming DoJ scandal.  More after the jump.

Josh linked from AP writer Jennifer Talhelm's piece tonight linking Renzi suddenly to the scandal.  From Talhelm's article:

Even as he insisted that he had been "the subject of leaked stories, conjecture and false attacks" about a 2005 land exchange, Renzi became entangled in the U.S. attorneys probe when his chief of staff acknowledged calling Arizona's prosecutor's office to discuss the matter.

The prosecutor, Paul Charlton, was one of the eight prosecutors fired by the Justice Department over the winter.

Brian Murray, Renzi's top aide, issued a statement late Tuesday acknowledging that shortly after the local media reported that the congressmen was being investigated, he called Charlton spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle.

What's fishy is that DoJ only now made this contact public.

Murray's disclosure came a few hours after Charlton related the call to House investigators probing whether the firings amounted to a political purge by the Bush administration. An official with the House Judiciary Committee said Charlton did not provide details of the call but said his chief investigator reported the call to the Justice Department.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigation, said the committee has not received a report from Justice of that call.

This despite Justice screaming that Iglesias in New Mexico acted improperly for not reporting Domenici's call to the dept, and despite Charlton doing the opposite and informing Justice of this contact.  We have yet to find out why Justice did not reveal this story until tonight, but it speaks to the mushrooming scandal that another Congressman is under the microscope.

Originally posted to Nuisance Industry on Tue Apr 24, 2007 at 07:29 PM PDT.

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