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Late Rep. Murtha Was Under FBI Investigation

Rep. John Murtha/gov. photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents spent more than two years investigating the late Rep. John Murtha, moving to expand their ongoing investigation into a full public corruption probe just months before he passed, reports the Washington Post.

Investigators were looking into whether the Pennsylvania Democrat was using his positions as defense appropriations chairman-a position that controlled billions of defense contract dollars-to benefit select contractors and lobbyists, according to the Post. Charges were never brought.

Murtha’s brother worked at the lobbying firm KSA Consulting, which won millions of dollars in Murtha-steered earmarks, reports the Post, and the FBI had been scrutinizing that relationship by June of 2009.

It was not confirmed whether the investigation was dropped for lack of evidence or if it was deemed irrelevant; Murtha passed away in February 2010 from complications following a gall bladder surgery. Murtha had denied any wrongdoing until the end, and his office had repeatedly insisted he was not being investigated.

“There is utter clarity now that Mr. Murtha was under criminal investigation,” Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) told the Post. “And given all the people the FBI was talking to, it seems he probably knew it.” CREW, a government watchdog organization, had sought documentation of the investigation in an effort to learn about the Justice Department’s general work in prosecuting public officials.

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