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Court won’t review congressional immunity defense in Rick Renzi case

, U.S. Congressman.

Former congressman Rick Renzi (Image via Wikipedia)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court won’t hear a bid by former U.S. Rep. Rick Renzi to block his trial on charges of extortion and other crimes.

The high court on Tuesday refused to hear an appeal by the Arizona Republican, accused of trying to engineer a land swap involving public and private land to benefit himself and a business partner. He has pleaded innocent.

Renzi argued that prosecution evidence concerning negotiations with private entities on proposed real estate deals, including a swap involving public land proposed as the site for a copper mine, was improperly presented to a grand jury, violating the Constitution’s “speech or debate” clause.

But the lower courts have ruled against Renzi, and the high court now has refused to review those decisions.

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