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Embattled Rep. Doolittle Retires Under Pressure From GOP ‘Weasels’

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"Embattled Rep. Doolittle Retires Under Pressure From GOP ‘Weasels’"

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doooo.jpg For months, Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA) has resisted his fellow GOP lawmakers’ calls for his resignation. In September he defiantly announced, “I will not step aside. I am running again, period.”

Nevertheless, this afternoon at a press conference in his home district, Doolittle reluctantly said that he would be retiring at the end of his term:

“My wife, Julie, and I have made this decision after much prayer and deliberation. It was not my initial intent to retire, and I fully expected and planned to run again right up until very recently,” Doolittle said after addressing supporters in his Northern California district.

“But it distilled upon us that we were ready for a change after spending almost our entire married lives with me in public service. We are at peace with this choice and look forward to starting a new chapter in our lives.”

Doolittle was gracious in his speech today, but he clearly blames others for his downfall. He has consistently refused to admit to his mistakes, instead resorting to attacks and name-calling against his critics. A look at the individuals and organizations Doolittle likely blames for his resignation today:

FBI: In May, Doolittle accused the government “of leaking word of an FBI search on his home” a day before Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testified before Congress on the U.S. attorney scandal, in an attempt to show that the Justice Department wasn’t partisan.

Justice Department (General): Doolittle said that the Justice Department’s long-running probe of his ethics violations “borders on harrassment.” He also compared himself to the Duke lacrosse players who were falsely accused of rape, lamenting that people were rushing to “unfounded conclusions.”

Justice Department (Democrats): In May, Doolittle claimed that “embedded Democratic staffers in the Justice Department” were responsible for the investigation against him because they were allegedly interested in “rehabilitating the reputation of embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.”

His GOP critics: In September, Doolittle called his Republican critics “weasels” for pressuring him to resign. “This is just self-interest on the part of ambitious people,” he said.

CREW: In September, nonprofit watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington listed Doolittle in its annual list of the “most corrupt members of Congress.” Doolittle called the group “underhanded and vile.” “There’s nothing responsible or ethical” about Crew, he said.

Doolittle and his wife are currently under federal investigation for their role in the Jack Abramoff corruption scandal, and questions have been raised about his ties to Cunningham co-conspirators contractors Brent Wilkes and Mitchell Wade.

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