Doolittle: DOJ is using me to take heat off Gonzales

The beleaguered congressman, whose home was searched in April, says there were political motivations behind the search.

Published May 7, 2007 3:14PM (EDT)

Rep. John Doolittle, R-Calif., is a victim. At least, that was the message of a guest column he wrote in a small paper in his district over the weekend. In the column, he describes with horror the results of a search warrant on his home:

"During the search, Julie was sequestered in the kitchen and not allowed to move without an escort. She was not even allowed to use the bathroom in our own home without an FBI agent escorting her there.

"Then, the agents systematically searched our home, removing every book, turning over every couch cushion and every pot and pan, and rummaging through every drawer, file cabinet, cupboard and closet."

Doolittle, who, along with his wife, has been entangled in the Jack Abramoff scandal, steadfastly maintains his innocence. The real culprit in this, he says, is the Department of Justice, which he believes timed a leak about the search to distract from the troubles of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

"I do not believe it was a coincidence that the leak came the day before Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testified before Congress on charges that his office was overly partisan in its firing of eight U.S. Attorneys," Doolittle writes. "In my mind, these events clearly indicate that there was more behind the search of our home than the pursuit of justice. As such and while my political opponents work to exploit this incident to further propagate speculation of my guilt, I ask my constituents to withhold judgment and stand with me in protecting my right and that of my wife to the presumption of innocence while we work to ensure that the truth is revealed."

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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