Federal agents interviewed staffers for likely Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) as part of their corruption case against Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.).
U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona Diane J. Humetewa and fellow prosecutors disclosed the interviews with aides for McCain and fellow Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl in a written response to Renzi’s attorneys, who asked for the contents of the interview to help prepare for Renzi’s upcoming trial, which is scheduled for October.
The aides were interviewed about land exchanges, according to an April letter from Humetewa filed with the U.S. District Court of Arizona late last week. The letter did not indicate when the interviews occurred.
A federal land swap critical to developing a $3 billion copper mine southeast of Phoenix is at the heart of the case against Renzi, who is facing 35 public corruption charges, including conspiracy, money-laundering, extortion and insurance fraud. Renzi is retiring at the end of this session.
Prosecutors said they would provide Renzi’s legal team with reports and transcripts of the staffer interviews. They also mentioned that they have requested documents from both Arizona senators’ offices.
While there is no evidence (yet) that St. Sleazy was involved in Renzi's solicitation of bribes, it does tie in with his current lobbyist problems. St. Sleazy likes to choose foxes to advise him on henhouse security:
Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain’s national campaign general co-chair was being paid by a Swiss bank to lobby Congress about the U.S. mortgage crisis at the same time he was advising McCain about his economic policy, federal records show.
“Countdown with Keith Olbermann” reported Tuesday night that lobbying disclosure forms, filed by the giant Swiss bank UBS, list McCain’s campaign co-chair, former Texas Sen. Phil Gramm, as a lobbyist dealing specifically with legislation regarding the mortgage crisis as recently as Dec. 31, 2007.
Gramm joined the bank in 2002 and had registered as a lobbyist by 2004. UBS filed paperwork deregistering Gramm on April 18 of this year. Gramm continues to serve as a UBS vice chairman.
St. Sleazy will try to distance himself from shrub and his low poll numbers, but he's still surrounded by the culture of corruption. He was closely tied to Renzi until Rick got caught. The Arizona Republican congressional delegation have a long history of sharing the spoils from their dirty deals, so I wouldn't be surprised if St. Sleazy found a way to profit from Renzi's corruption.