WASHINGTON – Indicted Republican Rep. Rick Renzi will not resign from Congress and plans to fight the federal fraud charges brought against him by the U.S. Attorney's office in Arizona.
"I will not resign and take on the cloak of guilt because I am innocent," Renzi told FOX News. "My legal team of Reid Weingarten and Kelly Kramer will handle these legal issues while I continue to serve my constituents."
Renzi returned to his Capitol Hill office Monday evening for the first time since the 35-count indictment was issued Friday.
Renzi, a three-term congressmen, already said he would not seek re-election. In the sweeping indictment, federal authorities charged Renzi with a host of charges connected to a land-swap arrangement Renzi tried to execute in Arizona. His initial court appearance is scheduled for March 6.
Click here to read the full indictment.
The indictment also names business associate James Sandlin, and Maryland attorney Andrew Beardall. The indictment also refers to two companies involved in the transactions, Company A and Investment Group B.
Prosecutors allege Renzi criminally concealed information about land deals to both Company A and Investment Group B, and used his seat on the House Natural Resources Committee to try to force their hand.
The indictment says Renzi was trying to help his business associate, Sandlin, finish paying off an $800,000 loan Sandlin owed to Renzi. Renzi was in financial straits and needed the money, according to the court documents filed Friday.
Following 2005 payments by Investment Group B to Sandlin, Sandlin paid Renzi $733,000, and Renzi moved the money through several accounts, eventually using $325,000 to pay outstanding taxes.
The indictment says Renzi also never claimed the $733,000 in his 2006 House financial disclosure statements.
Beardall, the Maryland attorney, is accused of assisting Renzi and Sandlin in an insurance fraud scheme.
Renzi resigned his committee assignments last year and announced he would not stand for re-election this fall as news of the investigation unfolded.
During his time in Congress, Renzi took pride in bringing home federal dollars to his mostly rural district, stretching from north of Tucson to the northeastern Navajo reservations. That's a stark contrast compared to the rest of the Arizona delegation.
FOX News' Chad Pergram and the Associated Press contributed to this report.