According to the New York Times, John T. Doolittle, who along with fellow-travelers Richard Pombo and Tom Delay did so much to gut environmental laws for the benefit of private corporations, is planning to step down.
WASHINGTON — Representative John T. Doolittle, a California Republican who has suggested he is almost certain to face criminal charges in a Congressional lobbying scandal, announced Thursday that he would retire from the House next year.
The announcement by Mr. Doolittle, 57, who is in his ninth term in Congress and was once seen as a rising star in the Republican Party, made no reference to the criminal investigation by the Justice Department, which has centered on his connections to the corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Last April, Mr. Doolittle’s home in suburban Virginia was raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as part of that inquiry, and his wife, a campaign fund-raiser, was subpoenaed for her financial records.
The aptly-named Doolittle spent his time in Congress attempting to destroy the endangered species act and to make sure that nothing was accomplished on virtually any environmental front. Given this record it is no surprise that the California Republican had ties to corrupt lobbyists. The Times added:
Justice Department officials would not comment Thursday on the status of the criminal investigation against Mr. Doolittle, who is among nearly 20 House Republicans to announce that they will voluntarily leave Congress over the next year. Prosecutors appear to be focused on business connections between Mr. Doolittle’s wife and lobbyists, including Mr. Abramoff, who might have sought to influence his vote.
...Until this week, Mr. Doolittle publicly rebuffed calls for his resignation and said he was eager to seek another term. Branding his critics within the Republican Party as “weasels,” he continued until several days ago to seek donations for a re-election campaign this November.
I wonder what happened to change his mind.