Ethics Committee Continues Review of Andrews Matter
A self-imposed Ethics Committee deadline to decide whether to open an actual investigation expired Friday, prompting the committee to release a 244-page report from the outside Office of Congressional Ethics, which referred the case to the committee in April.
The report details the alleged violations for the first time.
"Roberts may have improperly used congressional campaign and Leadership PAC funds to pay for a personal, family trip to Scotland in June 2011," the report summary reads.
"Representative Andrews may have also improperly used congressional campaign funds to pay for various trips to Los Angeles in 2011 and for his daughter's graduation party in June 2011, among other potential personal uses."
OCE's six-member board voted unanimously to recommend the Andrews matter to the House Ethics panel and signed off on the report. The committee noted, however, that continued review does not imply judgment on the matter.
"As the Ethics Committee stated today, it has reached no conclusion on this matter," Andrews said in a written statement. "As the Committee continues its review, the record will show that I have followed all rules and met all standards of the House."
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a non-profit organization dedicated to holding public officials accountable, rebuffed Andrews claim, citing his "long history" of questionable use of campaigns funds. House rules are particularly stringent regarding campaign-fund abuse, according to CREW's Melanie Sloan.
"Even the notoriously lax Ethics Committee will have trouble letting Rep. Andrews off the hook," Sloan stated. "While the inquiry undoubtedly will drag on for months, it's hard to fathom a scenario in which Rep. Andrews walks away from this unscathed."