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Doolittle Pays His Wife Another $45K

Rep. John Doolittle (R-Calif.), who is under investigation by the Justice Dept., paid his wife another $45,000 last quarter for fundraising work, according to his latest FEC report.

John T. Doolittle for Congress paid $45,000 to Sierra Dominion Financial Solutions Inc., Julie Doolittle's firm, on July 9, the campaign committee's filing with the Federal Election Commission shows. Julie Doolittle was paid for "fundraising services."

Julie Doolittle was paid slightly more than $60,000 by her husband's campaign from Jan. 1 to June 30, and when combined with the last quarter, has earned more than $105,000 so far this year.

Doolittle has defended the campaign payments to his wife, saying she is an effective fundraiser and receives a percentage of what she raises. So far this year, Doolittle has raised $355,581 this cycle, including $61,444 during the last quarter, and Julie Doolittle's take is roughly 30 percent of that total.

Doolittle's campaign also declared that it still owes $31,471 to Julie Doolittle's firm as of Sept. 30. 

Doolittle has retained the firm Wiley, Rein & Felding to represent him during the federal criminal probe, but the firm refunded a nearly $6,000 retainer to the Doolittle campaign during the last quarter. It is unclear if Doolittle is still being defended by Wiley, Reid at this point.

Another $8,000 came from current or former GOP lawmakers, some of whom have also found themselves under criminal investigation during the last couple years. For instance, former Rep. Richard Pombo's (R-Calif.) PAC gave Doolittle $5,000, while Reps. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) and Virgil Goode (R-Va.) gave a combined $3,000. Goode's donation came from his own pocket, not his campaign, accordin to FEC records.

Julie Doolittle did consulting work for Abramoff, and at the same, Doolittle himself intervened with federal agencies on behalf of Abramoff's tribal gambling clients. The Doolittles have denied any link between the two, the FBI raided their home earlier this year, and House GOP leaders forced the California Republican to step down from the powerful Appropriations Committee.