Todd Winer, the former communications director for Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) decided to break his “silence in the Cathy McMorris Rodgers scandal” on Monday, alleging that the congresswoman retaliated against him for filing an ethics complaint against her.
In a four-page email to reporters, Todd Winer accused McMorris Rodgers of seeking “retribution” for filing an ethics complaint against her office.
Winer served as communications director for McMorris Rodgers before he was let go in January 2013. He filed an ethics complaint several months later, in July 2013, against the Washington congresswoman alleging that she used taxpayer-funded staff and taxpayer-funded resources to help mount her bid for Republican conference committee chairwoman in November 2012.
The Office of Congressional Ethics referred the allegation to the House Ethics Committee this February. As of March, the committee said it was still investigating the matter. That was the last development until Winer’s email on Monday.
Winer also said that he was interviewed by the Ethics Committee last week, but that the interview was targeting a different question than the one that he raised in his complaint.
In the email, Winer said that the Ethics Committee is looking into McMorris Rodgers’ attempt to “intimidate and punish” him. Winer accused McMorris Rodgers’ staff of spreading lies about him that were so serious they rose to “the level of defamation.” He said that McMorris Rodgers’ office released his name to reporters as a way of getting revenge for filing the ethics complaint.
“Under the law, you can’t spread to the media things you know to be false about someone with the goal of damaging their reputation,” Winer said according to the Seattle Times.
Read the full email, via Roll Call’s Matt Fuller, here.