Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer
Posted: 08/14/2012 03:04:15 PM PDT

The Washington D.C. watchdog group that six years ago called for an investigation of Rep. Jerry Lewis today released a report critical of the resulting probe, which ended without any charges being filed against the Redlands congressman.

The FBI began an investigation of Lewis in 2006. Agents initially planned a three-month probe to examine allegedly inappropriate relationships Lewis had with individuals whose clients benefitted from earmarks obtained by the Congressman, as well as Lewis’ relationship with a hedge fund.

The Bureau’s case instead lasted four years. The Justice Department closed the case in 2010 without filing any charges against Lewis, although newly released documents show that agents considered a possible charge of honest services fraud in 2008.

Lewis’ office did not immediately provide any comment. Lewis consistently denied any wrongdoing in news articles about the FBI investigation.

The watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, did not go as far as to say the Justice Department deliberately went soft on the Lewis, but instead claimed its review of more than 1,500 of federal documents demonstrates the FBI did not provide sufficient resources to agents working on the four-year investigation.

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