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GOP mad about corruption probe leaks before election

Published: Thursday October 26, 2006

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Republicans are mad about corruption probe leaks before the election and are privately grumbling that "rogue elements" within the Department of Justice are trying to help tip the election to Democrats, according to Roll Call.

"For House Republicans, it seems that every week brings a new report about a GOP lawmaker under investigation by the Justice Department for alleged corruption," John Bresnahan writes. "And with the elections just 12 days away, Republicans are crying foul, complaining bitterly that the negative press spurred by the public disclosure of those criminal probes could help cost them their House majority."

"While a Justice Department run by Republican appointees who were nominated by a conservative Republican president would normally get the benefit of the doubt from GOP lawmakers and staffers, some party insiders are privately wondering whether 'rogue elements' within the department — and more specifically the Public Integrity Unit, where corruption cases are handled — are trying to tip the election to Democrats by leaking news of these investigations so late in the cycle," the article continues.

A top political operative for the GOP tells Roll Call that it appears as if "the Public Integrity Unit of the Justice Department is running wild," and that they are "trying to have some effect" on the midterm elections.

Excerpts from Roll Call article:


A House GOP leadership aide suggested that “rogue elements” within DOJ’s bureaucracy are “working for a Democratic victory” on Nov. 7.

“Of course, we all want to root out corruption at all levels of government,” said the aide, who said he was “afraid to speak publicly” since it may spur more leaks about Republican lawmakers. “At the same time, when word of Congressional investigations are continually thrown out in the media late in the cycle, then it smacks of a campaign against Republicans.”

Another senior GOP staffer speculated that it was “residual anger” from Speaker Dennis Hastert’s (R-Ill.) public criticism of the June 20 FBI raid on Rep. William Jefferson’s (D-La.) office that is feeding the “campaign” against House Republicans.

“I think there are people within the Justice Department who are angry with Hastert and the [GOP] leadership” over the Congressional response to the Jefferson raid. “This is all payback, that’s all.”