Prosecutors have subpoenaed two of Rep. John Doolittle’s top aides to appear before a federal grand jury in the ongoing investigation into the California republican’s relationship with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Roll Call reports.
Doolittle’s deputy chief of staff, Dan Blankenburg, and his chief of staff, Ron Rogers, notified the House today that they had received summonses to appear in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. While the Justice Department has buttonholed a half dozen of Doolittle’s former aides, Blankenburg and Rogers are the first of his current staff to have been subpoenaed, or at least the first to disclose as much. Both joined Doolittle’s staff after the nearly three-year probe had already begun. But the investigation appears to have gained momentum this year. (The FBI raided Doolittle’s Virginia home in April.)
In other Abramoff-related news, U.S. District Judge Ellen Huvelle has granted the former lobbyist’s request to postpone his sentencing in return for his continued cooperation in the government’s corruption investigation. Huvelle was expected to set Abramoff's sentencing date during a Sept. 7 status hearing. Per the judge’s order, filed today, that hearing has been reset for Dec. 7.