Three-term Arizona GOP Rep. Rick Renzi, who will retire from Congress at the end of his current term (i.e. next month) has been hit with a few more charges to add to the 35-count indictment handed up by a federal grand jury in Arizona last February. Renzi is one of four defendants in the case, and is named in 43 of the 44 charges — which include conspiracy, money laundering, fraud, and extortion. As our Peter Overby points out, it's not often in these kinds of conspiracy cases that a defendant comes so close to racking up a perfect score in the indictment.
The February indictment charged Renzi with insurance fraud and engaging in a land-swap deal related to the development of a copper mine. The new charges, handed up yesterday, add racketeering and tax fraud to the mix.
Renzi's lawyer calls the new indictments "outrageous" and says they are designed to "coerce Congressman Renzi into a guilty plea." Renzi's court date is scheduled for March.
Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick won Renzi's open seat in last week's election.