House Ethics Committee To Vern Buchanan: Don’t Worry, Everybody Screws Up Financial Statements

Roll Call Photos

The House Ethics Committee is letting Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) off the hook. Their reasoning? Plenty of other members of Congress file inaccurate financial disclosure reports, too.

Buchanan, the Ethics Committee found, “did not report all of the positions he held with several entities in complete and accurate detail” in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. But such errors, they concluded, “are not uncommon.”“To be clear, however, Representative Buchanan, as well as other Members and employees of the House, should understand that accurate and complete reporting on Financial Disclosure Statements should be every filer’s goal and is necessary to be in compliance with House Rules and federal law,” the report states. “However, the Committee also unanimously determined that these errors and omissions are not substantively different from the hundreds or thousands of errors and omissions corrected by amendment at the requirement of the Committee every year.”

The Ethics Committee was examining a referral from the House Office of Congressional Ethics, which found that Buchanan failed to disclose 17 corporate positions in his filings.

Buchanan has been the subject of multiple investigations. A report by the Federal Election Commission’s general counsel found that several of his statements to the agency were “not credible.”