By now most have received the news that Rick Renzi is under investigation by a Tucson-based Grand Jury and that the FBI has raided his wife's insurance business to seize records. This is really just the second shoe to drop, however. Most who have followed Renzi's slimy trail for any length of time have been expecting that size 12 to drop at any time, even though the voters in CD 1 successfully ignored Mr. Renzi's alleged ethical and legal peccadilloes to re-elect the sleazebag.
Here is the Channel 3 coverage of Renzi's shame, in case you didn't catch it (thanks to the AZDP for YouTubing the footage):
What I find most interesting about this affair is what other coverage has glossed over with a mere mention: Renzi stepped down from his post as the ranking minority member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence Oversight. This is a very influential and important assignment; Renzi would not abandon this post voluntarily, just as he has not stepped down from any other committee assignments as a result of recent events. Why resign from that committee?
The answer is that internal committee rules require members of the Select Intelligence committees to have, in effect, security clearances, which are monitored by the House and Senate Security Offices. One reason to pull such a security clearance is that the member is under investigation for criminal activity, even if he has not yet been indicted or convicted. Anyone in Renzi's position is a security risk because of their compromised legal position, or their poor character and judgment, or both.
So, why did Renzi step down from the Select Intel Committee? Because his security clearance has been pulled by the House Security Office, and he had to. He might sell state secrets to Al Qaeda for a few million in an offshore account to tide him over if he has to flee with his wife and their dozen or so rug rats to someplace without an extradition treaty. Not really... but someone in a position to be easily manipulated, or who may have a very unethical nature should not have access to the NSA's black budgets.
It's a minor point, really, considering the oncoming freight train of hurt bearing down on Dickie Renzi, but I hate loose ends and unexplained bits of a story.