From AP via KTAR.com -
Lawyers for former U.S. Rep. Rick Renzi are objecting to a federal magistrate's denial of their motion to dismiss the public corruption case against him on constitutional grounds.
Renzi's lawyers contend that the government violated the U.S. Constitution's speech and debate clause in wiretapping his conversations with aides concerning a failed land swap deal in which he's been accused of conspiracy.
Yup - Renzi and his lawyers want to exclude recordings of conversations concerning legislation by claiming that those conversations are protected under the "speech and debate" clause of the U.S. Constitution.
That clause is in Article 1, section 6 of the Constitution (emphasis mine) -
The Senators and Representatives shall receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the treasury of the United States. They shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other place.
The most obvious problems with Renzi's arguement?
The "speech" wasn't in the House, and it concerned legislation that was the "quo" in a "quid pro quo" conspiracy that involved Renzi using his office for the personal financial benefit of himself and a business associate.
I *really* wish Renzi's trial was going to be held here in the Valley. It's going to be in Tucson, and that is too far for me to travel for what is certain to be a long (as in more than one day) trial.
Guess I'll just have to settle for John Huppenthal's assault trial (two weeks! July 29, San Tan Justice Court in Chandler...unless they put it off again due to the special session).