Leaked House Ethics Doc: Dozens Of Members Being Probed

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A July House ethics committee report leaked to the Washington Post shows that over 30 members of Congress have caught the interest of the panel, including several top Democrats.

The 22-page weekly summary report, which the Post has not put online, was mistakenly put on a public computer network because a junior staffer was using software from home, the committee said in a statement (pdf).

Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY), an aide, and his son were interviewed by the committee as part of the investigation into his alleged financial misconduct, according to the document.It also contains some potentially bad news for Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV). The Post reports:

The Justice Department has told the ethics panel to suspend a probe of Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (D-W.Va.), whose personal finances federal investigators began reviewing in early 2006 after complaints from a conservative group that he was not fully revealing his real estate holdings. There has been no public action on that inquiry for several years. But the department’s request in early July to the committee suggests that the case continues to draw the attention of federal investigators, who often ask that the House and Senate ethics panels refrain from taking action against members whom the department is already investigating.

A rattled Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), chair of the ethics panel, took to the House floor last night to alert lawmakers to the leak.

The leaked doc also shows that the ethics panel tried — and failed — to obtain from authorities a recording of Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) talking to an Israeli operative, reportedly about the AIPAC spy case and her bid to lead the intel committee.

The Post notes in a separate story that fully seven members of the House Appropriations subcommittee on defense are “under scrutiny” by the panel. They are Reps. John Murtha (D-PA), Pete Visclosky (D-IN), James Moran (D-VA), Norm Dicks (D-WA), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), C.W. Bill Young (R-FL), and Todd Tiahrt (R-KS).

While the paper cites the “over 30 lawmakers” figure, it does not list the members in question.

The leak came on the same day that the ethics panel publicly announced it is launching full investigation of Reps. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Laura Richardson (D-CA). The Waters matter focuses on her alleged intervention to get bailout funds for a bank in which her husband held stock. Richardson allegedly failed to disclose real estate assets and got special treatment involving a foreclosure on her home.

Read the whole Post story here.

Late Update: Here’s video of Lofgren speaking last night:

Late Late Update: We delve into the question: how much is really new here?

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