Report: McMorris Rodgers Faces Possible Ethics Probe Over Leadership Race

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) faces a possible House Ethics Committee probe over allegations from a former staffer who said McMorris Rodgers improperly combined campaign and Congressional funds to win her 2012 leadership race.

The Office Of Congressional Ethics is recommending that the House Ethics Committee perform a full investigation into the matter. The news was first reported by Politico on Thursday.

McMorris Rodgers, the House’s No. 4 Republican, denied that she is guilty of any wrongdoing.

“As has become an unfortunate rite of passage for many Members of Congress, the OCE regularly refers matters to the House Ethics Committee for further review. Such reviews are virtually automatic, and as the Committee always points out, does not indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the Committee,” McMorris Rodgers’ attorney, Elliot Berke of the McGuireWoods law firm said according to Politico.

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A former McMorris Rodgers aide said that she mixed campaign funds and official congressional funds together for specific activities on her campaign for conference chairwoman against Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), something that isn’t allowed under House rules.

According to Roll Call, the complaint behind the investigation centers around McMorris Rodgers bringing in campaign aides to help with her race for conference chairwoman. The complaint said that the aides regularly worked on McMorris Rodgers’ alongside her chief of staff in her congressional office during the work day. Under ethics rules, campaign staffers are allowed work with a lawmaker’s congressional staff but only outside of official office hours.

Leadership race results are usually kept secret but McMorris Rodgers reportedly won the race by as few as five votes, multiple sources told Politico.

McMorris Rodgers delivered the 2014 Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union. In that response she exaggerated a claim of a victim of Obamacare.

This story was updated.

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