Judge in Renzi trial limits questioning of ex-aide
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - The federal judge presiding over former Congressman Rick Renzi's trial is limiting potential questioning of a former congressional aide for Renzi and another Arizona Republican.
Judge David C. Bury of U.S. District Court in Tucson granted a request by Kevin Messner's lawyers to prohibit asking Messner about ex-Congressman Jim Kolbe's legislative activities.
Messner formerly worked for Renzi and Kolbe, and Messner's lawyers said Kolbe is invoking a constitutional shield against disclosure of congressional legislative activities.
Renzi is accused of trying to engineer a land exchange to benefit himself and a business associate and of looting his family's insurance business and lying about it to regulators.
Prosecutors and Renzi's lawyers have said they might want to question Messner about various matters, including land exchange legislation that Renzi handed off to Kolbe.
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