Here's a farcical little bit amidst the Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) investigation.
However seamy it might seem to you or me for a Congressional staffer to receive almost $2 million in payments from a lobbying firm while he works on the Hill handling matters of vital interest to that firm, Jeffrey Shockey and Lewis say they got clearance from the House ethics committee on the arrangement. Only, they never got an actual written
OK from the committee. Why?
Shockey's lawyers say the panel's silence may be due to being effectively deadlocked for 18 months until recently
It's a nice alibi -- but that doesn't mean it's true. Presumably if they'd been dead-set on receiving an opinion, they would have pursued it more doggedly. The committee hasn't been shut down, after all -- it just hasn't been handling new investigations.
Nevertheless, both Shockey's lawyers and Rep. Lewis did write the committee. You can see the letters here
. Maybe if they'd said, "Pretty please," they would have gotten more of a response?