By Paul Kiel
April 19, 2007, 2:25 PM
Rep. John Doolittle, R-Calif., has decided to temporarily give up his seat on the House Appropriations Committee after FBI agents searched his house as part of a congressional influence-peddling investigation.
Doolittle's decision, to be announced Thursday, was confirmed by a Republican congressional staffer who spoke on condition of anonymity because the news was not yet public.
That would be the same appropriations seat which he used to help steer $37 million to Brent Wilkes (who's accused of bribing Duke Cunningham), and another $400,000 to Jack Abramoff's client, the government of the Marianas Islands.
Update: More from Roll Call:
While Doolittle is expected to voluntarily take himself off the panel while the investigation continues, knowledgeable House sources said that Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and members of the Republican Steering Committee -- which determines committee assignments -- were prepared to remove him from his post if he would not do so himself.