U.S. House ethics board sees evidence of abuse by Representative McMorris Rodgers

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 24, 2014 4:22 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An independent ethics office has found substantial evidence that Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a member of the House Republican leadership team, may have used congressional funds and other resources for campaign activities.

The unanimous finding by the Office of Congressional Ethics was submitted to the House Ethics Committee in December. Monday was the deadline for making those findings public.

The Ethics Committee, which is not commenting on the report, said it would continue reviewing the matter and did not say when it could deliver a decision on whether a violation of House rules occurred.

The board of the Office of Congressional Ethics said, "There is substantial reason to believe Representative McMorris Rodgers' congressional staff performed ... campaign activities using official resources."

Elliot Berke, an attorney for McMorris Rodgers, said, "We remain confident that, in time, the (Ethics) Committee will dismiss the complaint which was based on frivolous allegations from a single source."

Berke added, "At no time did they (McMorris Rodgers or her staff) improperly mix official and campaign resources."

Rodgers chairs the House Republican Conference, a leadership post that puts her in a position of developing legislative initiatives.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)