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Ruling goes against former U.S. Rep. Rick Renzi

PHOENIX — A federal appeals court has rejected a bid by former U.S. Rep. Rick Renzi to block the Arizona Republican’s trial on corruption charges.

Renzi argued that prosecution evidence concerning negotiations on proposed real estate deals was improperly presented to a grand jury. He claims the evidence violates a constitutional protection for so-called “legislative acts.”

However, the trial judge disagreed and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling Thursday denies Renzi’s appeal on the issue.

The appellate court says the evidence falls outside the protections given members of Congress by the Constitution’s “speech or debate clause.”

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