Doolittle pays out more money in Abramoff probe |

Doolittle pays out more money in Abramoff probe

SACRAMENTO (AP) ” Rep. John Doolittle has paid $44,138 to a Washington law firm that specializes in campaign finance and ethics cases in connection with the Jack Abramoff lobbying investigation, new campaign finance reports show.

The Rocklin Republican paid the legal fees to the Wiley Rein law firm between mid-October and mid-November, according to a postelection report filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission. It brings Doolittle’s legal expenses to more than $100,000 for the year.

Doolittle, a conservative eight-term incumbent, has numerous ties to Abramoff, whom he has described as a good friend. Doolittle accepted campaign cash from Abramoff, helped his tribal clients in dealings with the Interior Department and helped the lobbyist win a contract from the Northern Mariana Islands by endorsing a sympathetic island politician.

Abramoff, who has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion, is cooperating with the Justice Department. Doolittle, who last month won re-election, has denied any wrongdoing.

“The congressman is committed to doing everything he can to clear his name as quickly as possible,” Doolittle chief of staff Richard Robinson said-Friday. “Through his attorneys, he will continue to proactively seek such an objective.”

Doolittle narrowly won re-election over Democratic challenger Charlie Brown, who had criticized the congressman for his ties to Abramoff.

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