WASHINGTON - Rep. Rick Renzi (R., Ariz.) temporarily stepped down yesterday from two House committees and got caught up in the probe of the U.S. attorney firings, less than a week after the FBI raided his wife's insurance business.
Renzi said he was taking a leave from the Financial Services and Natural Resources panels. Last week he stepped down from the intelligence committee.
Even as he insisted 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 having called 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.
Law-enforcement officials confirmed in October that they were scrutinizing a land deal that benefited a Renzi friend and business associate who was also a campaign donor. Renzi has denied any wrongdoing.