Democrats are criticizing a Justice Department investigation of the House bank, even though some lawmakers are finding FBI agents at their doors bearing letters clearing them of criminal wrongdoing.

The agents on Wednesday visited some House members who wrote at least one overdraft at the now-closed members' bank. They delivered a letter from department special counsel Malcolm R. Wilkey, informing recipients they were no longer under investigation.Rep. Craig Washington, D-Texas, who had three overdrafts and received no letter Wednesday, called Wilkey, a former federal judge, "a lap dog for the Republican administration."

Referring to the letters, he added: "I think they are going to dribble them out right down through Election Day, keep people hanging from the rafters and drop the shoes one at a time to give the implication there's something sinister going on when there's nothing."

But even as they opened their envelopes, several Democrats - suspicious of a Republican criminal inquiry into a Democratic-run bank - made clear they did not consider the letters a welcome gift.

Rep. Ben Jones, D-Ga., who had seven overdrafts on his House bank account, called the probe "highly partisan and political."

An Associated Press survey found that at least 80 House members of both parties had received the letter Wednesday.

None of the letters delivered so far have gone to congressmen from Utah or Idaho.

But Wilkey's letter and a separate Justice Department statement said some members' accounts were too voluminous for an immediate decision. Those lawmakers, most of them likely to be Democrats, would probably remain under a legal cloud right through Election Day.