By Susan Crabtree - 06/11/08 01:35 PM EDT
The probe appears to debunk the theory among some legal analysts that the Justice Department is less likely to focus on members of Congress who leave office.
In that way, it parallels the Justice investigation of retiring Rep. John Doolittle (R-Calif.), whose wife Julie allegedly worked on behalf of Jack Abramoff. Sweeney took an Abramoff-organized trip to the Northern Mariana Islands in 2001, but it is unclear if the investigation is an expansion of the Abramoff probe or completely separate.
FBI agents from Albany and Washington descended on Powers & Co.’s offices Friday morning. They confiscated files and interviewed employees who were encouraged to remain in the office. Powers, 66, became a lobbyist after stepping down as GOP state chairman in 2001.