Friday, October 12, 2007

Politics: Jerry Lewis Investigation

Grand jury subpoena issued to Appropriations staffer in Lewis probe


A federal grand jury in Los Angeles has issued a subpoena for a House Appropriations Committee staffer as part of the ongoing probe of Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.), the ranking member of the powerful panel.

Greg Lankler, a staffer on the House Appropriations Committee's Defense subcommittee, was recently subpoenaed by a federal grand jury looking into Lewis, according to House insiders.

The subpoena is for both documents and testimony, although it is unclear at this point whether Lankler will cooperate. The matter has been forwarded to the House general counsel's office, which is still studying the subpoena.

A number of grand jury subpoenas were issued in the summer of 2006 as the Justice Dept. looked into Lewis' relationship with Bill Lowery, a former California Republican who had left Capitol Hill to become a lobbyist. Lewis steered millions of dollars in earmarks to Lowery's clients, who in turned donated tens of thousands of dollars to Lewis' re-election efforts.

In addition, several Lewis' aides worked for Lowery, before and after joining Lewis' staff.

Lewis has denied any wrongdoing, although he has shelled out more than $900,000 in fees to defense attorneys representing him in the probe.

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