Mike Scarcella writes:
The Justice Department unlawfully recorded privileged phone calls between former Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.) and his lawyers during an insurance fraud investigation, a federal magistrate judge in Arizona ruled Thursday in recommending the recordings be suppressed.
Magistrate Judge Bernardo Velasco found that prosecutors made false statements to the supervising judge regarding the status of one of the lawyers Renzi was talking with and regarding the government’s effort to minimize the intercept and recording of calls with other attorneys.
Still, Velasco is recommending that Renzi’s motion to dismiss the indictment be denied.
“While this court has concerns over the government’s conduct in this case, it does not rise to the level of outrageousness,” Velasco wrote in his 24-page ruling. U.S. District Judge David Bury will have a chance to review the magistrate’s report and recommendation. Velasco’s ruling is here.
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