Watchdogs Want Records of DOJ Investigation

     WASHINGTON (CN) – A watchdog group demands records from the Department of Justice, which “investigated allegations that Rep. [Jerry] Lewis, [R., Cal.] improperly steered millions of dollars in earmarks for clients of lobbying firms”.

     Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington sued the Department of Justice in a federal FOIA complaint.     
     CREW wants the Justice Department to turn over documents from its investigations of “allegations that Rep. Lewis, improperly steered millions of dollars in earmarks for clients of lobbying firms managed by former Rep. Bill Lowery (R., Cal.), many of whom made substantial contributions to Rep. Lewis’s campaign committee and his political action committee.”
     Lewis will not be prosecuted.
     “DOJ also investigated allegations that Rep. Lewis improperly helped secure government contracts for donors,” the complaint states. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California notified Rep. Lewis in December 2010 that DOJ had concluded its investigation of him and declined to prosecute him.”
     Lewis is a former chairman and now ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee.
     CREW says it “is statutorily entitled to the disclosure of the records it seeks,” which include records on “DOJ’s decision not to bring criminal charges against him [Lewis].”
     CREW is represented by house counsel Anne Weismann.
     Lewis is a 17-term congressman.
     Lowery, a 5-term congressman from Southern California, dropped out when his home was moved into the district of fellow Republican Randy “Duke” Cunningham in 1990. Lowery went into lobbying, where he has specialized in adding earmarks to bills.

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