The following is the statement released Thursday by the House Committee on Ethics, lightly edited:
On March 23, 2017, the Committee on Ethics … announced that it was reviewing allegations referred by the Office of Congressional Ethics regarding Rep. Duncan Hunter. The committee also announced that because the Department of Justice had asked the committee to defer its consideration of the matter, the committee had followed precedent and voted unanimously to defer its review at that time.
Accordingly, pursuant to Committee Rule 17A(h)(1), the committee made OCE’s report, but not its findings, public at that time. On March 23, 2018, the committee announced that it was continuing to defer its consideration of the matter at the request of DOJ.Subsequently, on August 21, 2018, Rep. Hunter was indicted on federal charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, falsifying campaign finance records, prohibited use of campaign contributions, and false statements.
Pursuant to Committee Rule 18(e)(2), within 30 days of a member being indicted or otherwise formally charged with criminal conduct, the committee shall either establish an investigative subcommittee (“ISC”) or report to the House describing its reasons for not establishing an ISC.
In accordance with House Rule XI, clause 3, and Committee Rules 10(a)(2) and 18(e)(2), and following committee precedent, the committee unanimously voted on September 6, 2018, to establish an ISC.
Pursuant to the committee’s action, the ISC shall have jurisdiction to determine whether Rep. Hunter violated the Code of Official Conduct or any law, rule, regulation, or other applicable standard of conduct in the performance of his duties or the discharge of his responsibilities, with respect to allegations that he engaged in unlawful conspiracy, fraud, falsification of campaign finance records, and prohibited use of campaign contributions.
DOJ has requested that the committee defer consideration of the matters in the ISC’s jurisdiction. The committee, again following precedent, unanimously recommended to the ISC that it defer action on its investigation at this time. No other public comment will be made on this matter except in accordance with committee rules.
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