Editorial: Rep. Renzi, under indictment, must resign

"Twenty-six damning pages of a federal indictment stare down U.S. Rep. Rick Renzi, R-Ariz., today. They paint a picture of a scofflaw who used his congressional authority to try to line his own pockets by extorting money from private interests.

Renzi answered Friday with a half-page release from his Washington, D.C., attorneys. "Congressman Renzi did nothing wrong. We will fight these charges until he is vindicated and his family's name is restored."

They've got their work cut out for them.

Since these allegations began surfacing in early 2007, Renzi has virtually dropped out of sight, resigning from his committee assignments and keeping his head low. He faces up to 20 years in prison on the most serious counts and fines of $250,000 if convicted.

For many years, Rick Renzi has worked under a cloud of suspicion. Today that cloud is joined by the gale force of a federal indictment.

No one could expect to function normally under such conditions. Renzi needs to attend to his personal crisis and leave the business of the United States government to others. He should resign immediately."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Leave, Mr. Renzi (The Arizona Republic 2/24)

More Stories:
Renzi indicted in theft, extortion (The Arizona Republic 2/23)
Arizona's Rep. Renzi Is Indicted In Land Deal (The Washington Post 2/23)
Grand Jury Indicts Arizona Congressman (The New York Times 2/23)
Cordova: 'I told you so!' (AP 2/24)

Relevant Documents:
Press Release | Indictment | MP3: Press Conference

Relevant Links:
Rep. Rick Renzi - http://www.house.gov/renzi

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