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114th Congress   }                                       {      Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session      }                                       {     114-910
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     


                         SUMMARY OF ACTIVITIES

                    ONE HUNDRED FOURTEENTH CONGRESS

                               __________

                                A REPORT

                                 of the

                          COMMITTEE ON ETHICS

                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


January 3, 2017.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed
              
              
              
                                    ______

                         U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 

23-224                         WASHINGTON : 2017              
              
              
              
              
              
              
              
              
              
              
              
              
              
              
                          COMMITTEE ON ETHICS

CHARLES W. DENT, Pennsylvania        LINDA T. SANCHEZ, California
  Chairman                             Ranking Member
PATRICK MEEHAN, Pennsylvania         MICHAEL E. CAPUANO, Massachusetts
TREY GOWDY, South Carolina           YVETTE D. CLARKE, New York
SUSAN W. BROOKS, Indiana             TED DEUTCH, Florida
KENNY MARCHANT, Texas                JOHN B. LARSON, Connecticut

                              REPORT STAFF

              Thomas A. Rust, Chief Counsel/Staff Director
              Patrick McMullen, Director of Investigations
             Tonia Smith, Director of Advice and Education
             Clifford C. Stoddard, Counsel to the Chairman
            Daniel J. Taylor, Counsel to the Ranking Member

                      Molly McCarty, Investigator
              Destinae Demery, Financial Disclosure Clerk
            Christian Hollowell, Advice and Education Clerk
                   Michael Koren, Investigative Clerk
                      Tamar Nedzar, Senior Counsel
                         David Arrojo, Counsel
                    Kathryn Lefeber Donahue, Counsel
                      Nadia Konstantinova, Counsel
                      Brittney Pescatore, Counsel
                      
                      
                      
                      
                      
                      
                      
                      
                      
                      
                      
                      
                      
                      
                      
                      
                          LETTER OF SUBMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                          House of Representatives,
                                       Committee on Ethics,
                                   Washington, DC, January 2, 2017.
Hon. Karen L. Haas,
Clerk, House of Representatives,
Washington, DC.
    Dear Ms. Haas: Pursuant to clauses 3(a)(2) and 3(b) of Rule 
XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, we herewith 
transmit the attached Report, ``Summary of Activities 114th 
Congress.''
            Sincerely,
                                   Charles W. Dent,
                                           Chairman.
                                   Linda T. Sanchez,
                                           Ranking Member.
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                            C O N T E N T S

                              ----------                              
  I. INTRODUCTION.....................................................3
 II. ADVICE AND EDUCATION.............................................3
III. FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE............................................10
 IV. COMMITTEE RULES.................................................12
  V. INVESTIGATIONS..................................................12
APPENDIX I: RELEVANT HOUSE RULES.................................    31
APPENDIX II: ADVISORY MEMORANDA..................................    42
APPENDIX III: COMMITTEE RULES....................................   134
APPENDIX IV: PUBLIC STATEMENTS...................................   187












                                                Union Calendar No. 721
114th Congress   }                                       {      Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session      }                                       {     114-910

======================================================================



 
                         SUMMARY OF ACTIVITIES
                    ONE HUNDRED FOURTEENTH CONGRESS

                                _______
                                

  January 3, 2017.--Committed to the Whole House on the State of the 
                    Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

        Mr. Dent and Ms. Sanchez, from the Committee on Ethics, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                                Overview

    The Committee on Ethics (Committee) is tasked with 
interpreting and enforcing the House's ethics rules. The 
Committee has sole jurisdiction over the interpretation of the 
Code of Official Conduct, which governs the acts of House 
Members, officers, and employees. The Committee is the only 
standing House committee with equal numbers of Democratic and 
Republican Members. The operative staff of the Committee is 
required by rule to be professional and nonpartisan.
    In the 114th Congress, the Committee was led by Chairman 
Charles W. Dent and Ranking Member Linda T. Sanchez. The 
Members appointed at the beginning of the Congress were Patrick 
Meehan, Michael E. Capuano, Trey Gowdy, Yvette Clarke, Susan W. 
Brooks, Ted Deutch, Kenny Marchant, and John B. Larson.
    The Committee's core responsibilities include providing 
training, advice, and education to House Members, officers, and 
employees; reviewing and approving requests to accept 
privately-sponsored travel related to official duties; 
reviewing and certifying all financial disclosure reports 
Members, candidates for the House, officers, and senior staff 
are required to file; and investigating and adjudicating 
allegations of misconduct and violations of rules, laws, or 
other standards of conduct.
    The Committee met 24 times in the 114th Congress, including 
12 times in 2015, and 12 times in 2016.
    Within the scope of its training, advice and education, 
travel, and financial disclosure responsibilities, the 
Committee:
           Issued more than 850 formal advisory 
        opinions regarding ethics rules;
           Reviewed and approved nearly 3,900 requests 
        to accept privately-sponsored, officially-connected 
        travel;
           Fielded nearly 55,000 informal telephone 
        calls, emails, and in-person requests for guidance on 
        ethics issues;
           Released 14 advisory memoranda on various 
        ethics topics to the House;
           Provided training to approximately 11,000 
        House Members, officers, and employees each year, and 
        reviewed their certifications for satisfying the 
        House's mandatory training requirements;
           Received nearly 16,000 Financial Disclosure 
        Statements and amendments filed by House Members, 
        officers, senior staff, and House candidates; and
           Received more than 3,000 Periodic 
        Transaction Reports filed by House Members, officers, 
        and senior staff, containing thousands of transactions.
    In addition, the Committee actively investigates 
allegations against House Members, officers, and employees, 
using a mix of investigative techniques to determine the 
validity of factual allegations, explore potential rules 
violations, and recommend appropriate sanctions and corrective 
actions. The Committee's options for investigating a matter 
include fact-gathering under Committee Rule 18(a), the 
empanelment of investigative subcommittees (ISCs), 
consideration of formal complaints, and the review of 
transmittals from the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). 
Committee review of a matter in any of these formats is an 
``investigation'' under House and Committee rules. Also, it is 
not uncommon for a matter to be investigated by the Committee 
in more than one of these formats over the course of the 
Committee's overall review of that matter. For example, as 
discussed further in this report, from time to time the 
Committee may begin an investigation under Committee Rule 18(a) 
and subsequently determine that it is appropriate to continue 
the investigation through an investigative subcommittee.
    The initiation or status of an investigative matter may or 
may not be publicly disclosed, depending on the circumstances 
of the individual matter. However, the fact that the Committee 
is investigating a particular matter, opts to investigate a 
matter in one format instead of another, is required or chooses 
to make a public statement regarding a pending investigative 
matter, or that a House Member, officer, or employee is 
referenced in an investigative matter should not be construed 
as a finding or suggestion that the Member, officer, or 
employee has committed any violation of the rules, law, or 
standards of conduct.
    During the 114th Congress, within the scope of its 
investigative responsibilities, the Committee:
           Commenced or continued investigative fact-
        gathering regarding 78 separate investigative matters;
           Empanelled four new investigative 
        subcommittees, in the matters of Representative Ed 
        Whitfield, Representative Chaka Fattah, Representative 
        Robert Pittenger, and Representative Corrine Brown;
           Held 11 investigative subcommittee meetings;
           Filed 5 reports with the House totaling 
        nearly 2,100 pages regarding various investigative 
        matters;
           Publicly addressed 23 matters, described in 
        Section V of this report;
           Resolved 40 additional matters;
           Conducted 93 voluntary witness interviews;
           Authorized the issuance of 31 subpoenas; and
           Reviewed nearly 600,000 pages of documents.
    All votes taken in the investigative subcommittees were 
unanimous. There were a total of 17 investigative matters 
pending before the Committee as of January 2, 2017.
    All of the Committee's work as summarized in this report is 
made possible by the Committee's talented professional, 
nonpartisan staff. The Members of the Committee wish to 
acknowledge their hard work and dedication to the Committee and 
the House. In particular, the Committee wishes to acknowledge 
the service and career of Joanne White, who retired in 2016 
following more than 41 years of service to the House, including 
more than 25 years on the Committee's staff.\1\
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    \1\See 162 Cong. Rec. E1262, E1263 & E1255 (daily ed. Sep. 13, 
2016) (statements of Chairman Dent, Ranking Member Sanchez, and former 
Chairman Conaway).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                            I. INTRODUCTION

    House Rule XI, clause 1(d), requires each committee to 
submit to the House, not later than January 2 of each odd-
numbered year, a report on the activities of that committee 
under that rule and House Rule X. This report summarizes the 
activities of the Committee for the entirety of the 114th 
Congress.
    The jurisdiction of the Committee on Ethics is defined in 
clauses 1(g) and 11(g)(4) of House Rule X, clause 3 of House 
Rule XI, and clause 5(h) of House Rule XXV. The text of those 
provisions is attached as Appendix I to this Report.
    In addition, a number of provisions of statutory law confer 
authority on the Committee. Specifically, for purposes of the 
statutes on gifts to federal employees (5 U.S.C. Sec. 7353) and 
gifts to superiors (5 U.S.C. Sec. 7351), both the Committee and 
the House of Representatives are the ``supervising ethics 
office'' of House Members, officers, and employees. In 
addition, as discussed further in Part III below, for House 
Members, officers, and employees, the Committee is both the 
``supervising ethics office'' with regard to financial 
disclosure under the Ethics in Government Act (EIGA) (5 U.S.C. 
app. Sec. Sec. 101 et seq.) and the ``employing agency'' for 
certain purposes under the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act (5 
U.S.C. Sec. 7342). The outside employment and earned income 
limitations of the EIGA are administered by the Committee with 
respect to House Members, officers, and employees (5 U.S.C. 
app. 503(1)(A)). Finally, the notification of negotiation and 
recusal requirements created by the Honest Leadership and Open 
Government Act (HLOGA) are administered, in part, by the 
Committee.

                        II. ADVICE AND EDUCATION

    Pursuant to a provision of the Ethics Reform Act of 1989 (2 
U.S.C. Sec. 4711(i)), the Committee maintains an Office of 
Advice and Education, which is staffed as directed by the 
Committee's Chairman and Ranking Member. Under the statute, the 
primary responsibilities of the Office include the following:
           Providing information and guidance to House 
        Members, officers, and employees on the laws, rules, 
        and other standards of conduct applicable to them in 
        their official capacities;
           Drafting responses to specific advisory 
        opinion requests received from House Members, officers, 
        and employees, and submitting them to the Chairman and 
        Ranking Member for review and approval;
           Drafting advisory memoranda on the ethics 
        rules for general distribution to House Members, 
        officers, and employees, and submitting them to the 
        Chairman and Ranking Member, or the full Committee, for 
        review and approval; and
           Developing and conducting educational 
        briefings for House Members, officers, and employees.
    The duties of the Office of Advice and Education are also 
addressed in Committee Rule 3, which sets out additional 
requirements and procedures for the issuance of Committee 
advisory opinions.
    Under Committee Rule 3(j), the Committee will keep 
confidential any request for advice from a Member, officer, or 
employee, as well as any response to such a request. As a 
further inducement to House Members, officers, and employees to 
seek Committee advice whenever they have any uncertainty on the 
applicable laws, rules, or standards, statutory law (2 U.S.C. 
Sec. 4711(i)(4)) provides that no information provided to the 
Committee by a Member or staff person when seeking advice on 
prospective conduct may be used as a basis for initiating a 
Committee investigation if the individual acts in accordance 
with the Committee's written advice. In the same vein, 
Committee Rule 3(k) provides that the Committee may take no 
adverse action in regard to any conduct that has been 
undertaken in reliance on a written opinion of the Committee if 
the conduct conforms to the specific facts addressed in the 
opinion. Committee Rule 3(l) also precludes the Committee from 
using information provided to the Committee by a requesting 
individual ``seeking advice regarding prospective conduct . . . 
as the basis for initiating an investigation,'' provided that 
the requesting individual ``acts in good faith in accordance 
with the written advice of the Committee.'' In addition, the 
Committee understands that federal courts may consider the good 
faith reliance of a House Member, officer, or employee on 
written Committee advice as a defense to Justice Department 
prosecution regarding certain statutory violations.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\For example, a federal court held that it is a complete defense 
to a prosecution for conduct assertedly in violation of a related 
federal criminal strict-liability statute (18 U.S.C. Sec. 208) that the 
conduct was undertaken in good faith reliance upon erroneous legal 
advice received from the official's supervising ethics office. United 
States v. Hedges, 912 F.2d 1397, 1403 n.2 (11th Cir. 1990).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee believes that a broad, active program for 
advice and education is an extremely important means for 
attaining understanding of, and compliance with, the ethics 
rules. The specifics of the Committee's efforts in the areas of 
publications, briefings, and advisory opinion letters during 
the 114th Congress are set forth below. In addition, on a daily 
basis Committee staff attorneys provided informal advice in 
response to inquiries received from Members, staff persons, and 
third parties in telephone calls and e-mails directed to the 
Committee office, as well as in person. During the 114th 
Congress, Committee attorneys responded to nearly 55,000 phone 
calls and e-mail messages seeking advice, and participated in 
many informal meetings with Members, House staff, or outside 
individuals or groups regarding specific ethics matters.

                              PUBLICATIONS

    The Committee's major publication is the House Ethics 
Manual, an updated version of which was issued in March 2008. 
The Manual provides detailed explanations of all aspects of the 
ethics rules and statutes applicable to House Members, 
officers, and employees. Topics covered by the Manual include 
the acceptance of gifts or travel, campaign activity, casework, 
outside employment, and involvement with official and outside 
organizations. The House Ethics Manual is posted in a 
searchable format on the Committee's Web site: https://
ethics.house.gov.
    The Committee updates and expands upon the materials in the 
Manual, as well as highlights matters of particular concern, 
through the issuance of general advisory memoranda to all House 
Members, officers, and employees. The memoranda issued during 
the 114th Congress were as follows:
           The 2015 Outside Earned Income Limit and 
        Salaries Triggering the Financial Disclosure 
        Requirement and Post-Employment Restrictions Applicable 
        to House Officers and Employees (January 21, 2015);
           Upcoming Financial Disclosure Clinics & 
        Training (April 17, 2015);
           Reminder about Annual Ethics Training 
        Requirements for 2015 (November 24, 2015);
           Holiday Guidance on the Gift Rule (December 
        7, 2015);
           The 2016 Outside Earned Income Limit and 
        Salaries Triggering the Financial Disclosure 
        Requirement and Post-Employment Restrictions Applicable 
        to House Officers and Employees (January 5, 2016);
           Upcoming Financial Disclosure Clinics & 
        Training (April 15, 2016);
           Member Participation in Certain Events 
        Taking Place During a National Political Convention 
        (May 13, 2016);
           Gift Rules Applicable to National Political 
        Conventions (June 10, 2016);
           Reminder about Annual Ethics Training 
        Requirements for 2016 (September 20, 2016);
           Member Swearing-in and Inauguration Day 
        Receptions, and Attendance at Inaugural-Related Events 
        (November 29, 2016);
           Guidance on House Staff Assisting in the 
        Presidential Transition (December 5, 2016);
           Holiday Guidance on the Gift Rule (December 
        5, 2016);
           Negotiations for Future Employment and 
        Restrictions on Post-Employment for House Members and 
        Officers (December 22, 2016); and
           Negotiations for Future Employment and 
        Restrictions on Post-Employment for House Staff 
        (December 22, 2016).
    A copy of each of these advisory memoranda is included as 
Appendix II to this Report. In addition, these memoranda are 
available to the House and the public on the Committee's Web 
site: https://ethics.house.gov.
    In addition to the advisory memoranda listed above, the 
Committee joined a new initiative with the Committee on House 
Administration to issue periodic joint guidance from the two 
committees on issues of overlapping jurisdiction. The Committee 
also issued an updated version of its summary memorandum, 
Highlights of the House Ethics Rules, in May 2015. Copies of 
all current Committee publications are available from the 
Committee's office, and their text is posted on the Committee's 
Web site. The Committee also submits a report each month of the 
Committee's activities to the Committee on House 
Administration. Finally, with this report, the Committee has 
sought to provide as much transparency as is appropriate. In 
addition to the many numbers referred to throughout this 
report, the Committee annually publishes the following summary 
chart in the interest of transparency.


                            ETHICS TRAINING

    Clause 3(a)(6) of House Rule XI, which originated in the 
110th Congress, requires each House employee to complete ethics 
training each calendar year, pursuant to guidelines to be 
issued by the Committee. The House rules and Committee's 
guidelines require each House employee to complete one hour of 
ethics training each calendar year. The guidelines also require 
all House employees who are paid at the ``senior staff rate'' 
to complete an additional hour of training once each Congress 
on issues primarily of interest to senior staff.\3\ Rule XI 
requires new House Members and employees to complete ethics 
training within 60 days of the commencement of their service to 
the House.\4\
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    \3\In 2016, the senior staff rate was $123,175 per year, or a 
monthly salary above $10,265. This figure is subject to change each 
year, and the Committee issues a general advisory memorandum to all 
House Members, officers, and employees announcing changes in this and 
other salary thresholds relevant to ethics rules.
    \4\The requirement that new Members receive training within 60 days 
of commencement of their service to the House was added to House Rule 
XI in the 114th Congress.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Pursuant to its obligations under Rule XI, the Committee 
held 104 ethics training sessions during 2015 and 64 during 
2016. During the 114th Congress, all employees other than new 
employees were permitted to fulfill their training requirement 
either through attending a training session in person or by 
viewing an on-line presentation. The training sessions for new 
employees provided a general summary of the House ethics rules 
in all areas, such as gifts, travel, campaign activity, 
casework, involvement with outside entities, and outside 
employment. The live and on-line sessions for existing House 
employees covered specific topics, such as gifts and travel or 
campaign work, on a more in-depth basis. The Committee also had 
several different options that senior staff could use to 
fulfill their requirement of one additional hour of training. 
The on-line training provided a general overview of ethics 
rules of particular interest to senior staff. The live training 
sessions focused in depth on a single topic, of import for 
senior staff.
    In 2015, the Committee trained more than 2,000 employees in 
person at live ethics briefings, and nearly 8,000 used one of 
the on-line training options. During 2016, the Committee 
trained more than 2,200 employees in person at live ethics 
briefings, and nearly 9,000 through one of the on-line training 
options. The total number of employees who completed ethics 
training for 2016 will be determined after January 31, 2017, 
the date that House Rule XI established as the deadline for 
employees to certify completion of the ethics training 
requirement for 2016.
    In addition to the training required under House Rule XI, 
the Committee also provided training in several other contexts. 
The House will include 52 new Members in the 115th Congress, 
most of whom have not previously served in the House. The 
Committee made a presentation to the Members-elect of the 115th 
Congress during New Member Orientation. The Committee also met 
with numerous departing Members and staff to counsel them on 
the ethics rules related to their transition to private life 
and the post-employment restrictions. The Committee also 
provided training open to all House Members, officers, and 
employees on the financial disclosure rules, which are 
discussed further in Section III. Finally, together with the 
Committee on House Administration, the Committee participated 
in two general briefings, one in 2015 and one in 2016, on the 
rules related to Member participation in the Congressional Art 
Competition.
    Committee staff also participated in approximately 10 
briefings sponsored by or held for the members of outside 
organizations. In addition, Committee staff led approximately 
12 briefings for visiting international dignitaries from a 
variety of countries, including Colombia, Kosovo, and Malawi.
    The Committee will continue this outreach activity in the 
115th Congress.

                        ADVISORY OPINION LETTERS

    The Committee's Office of Advice and Education, under the 
direction and supervision of the Committee's Chairman and 
Ranking Member, prepared and issued nearly 900 private advisory 
opinions during the 114th Congress: 498 in 2015 and 360 in 
2016. Opinions issued by the Committee in the 114th Congress 
addressed a wide range of subjects, including various 
provisions of the gift rule, Member or staff participation in 
fund-raising activities of charities and for other purposes, 
the outside earned income and employment limitations, campaign 
activity by staff, and the post-employment restrictions.

                        TRAVEL APPROVAL LETTERS

    As discussed above, House Rule XXV, clause 5(d)(2), which 
was enacted at the start of the 110th Congress, charged each 
House Member or employee with obtaining approval of the 
Committee prior to undertaking any travel paid for by a private 
source on matters connected to the individual's House duties.
    House Rule XXV, clause 5(i), charges the Committee with 
undertaking an annual review of its guidelines and regulations 
regarding privately-funded, officially-connected travel by 
House Members, officers, and employees. In the 112th Congress, 
the Committee carried over a bipartisan travel working group to 
assess and make recommendations regarding its process for the 
review and approval of such travel. Committee members 
Representatives Charles Dent and Donna F. Edwards comprised the 
working group. As a result of the efforts of the working group, 
the Committee adopted comprehensive revised travel regulations 
for privately-sponsored, officially-connected travel which were 
released as a general advisory on December 27, 2012. The 
regulations were made effective for travel beginning on April 
1, 2013. The regulations are available to the House and the 
public on the Committee's Web site.\5\ In the 114th Congress, 
the Committee continued its ongoing efforts to review the 
guidelines and regulations regarding privately-funded, 
officially-connected travel. This review included a thorough 
examination of the forms used for privately-funded, officially-
connected travel approval.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\House Comm. on Ethics, Travel Guidelines and Regulations 
(``Travel Regulations'') (Dec. 27, 2012), available at https://
ethics.house.gov/sites/ethics.house.gov/files/travel%20regs_0.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In general, the Committee requires that any House Member, 
officer, or employee who wishes to accept an offer of 
privately-sponsored, officially-connected travel must submit 
all required paperwork to the Committee at least 30 days prior 
to the start of the trip.\6\ However, the 30-day requirement 
does not apply to certain types of trips, and the Committee 
retains authority to approve requests submitted after that 
deadline in exceptional circumstances.\7\ When the Committee 
opts to approve a request filed after the general deadline, the 
approval letter sent to the traveler--which must ultimately be 
publicly disclosed--notes that fact.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\Id. at Part 500--Committee Approval Process.
    \7\Id. at Sec. 501.1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Under the travel approval process established by the 
Committee to implement this rule, the Committee reviewed more 
than 2,400 requests to accept privately-sponsored, officially-
connected travel, and issued letters approving more than 2,000 
such requests in 2015. In 2016, the Committee reviewed nearly 
2,000 requests to accept privately-sponsored, officially-
connected travel, and issued letters approving more than 1,800 
such requests.
    House Rules and the Committee's Travel Regulations require 
all House Members, officers, and employees who receive 
Committee approval to accept privately-sponsored, officially-
connected travel to file detailed paperwork about the trip with 
the Clerk within 15 days of the conclusion of the trip.\8\ The 
Committee also reviewed the post-travel disclosure forms filed 
by the traveler for each approved trip and requested amendments 
or other remedial action by the traveler when deemed 
necessary.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\House Rule XXV, clause 5(b)(1)(A)(ii); Travel Regulations at 
Part 600--Post-Travel Disclosure.
    \9\From time to time, a traveler may inadvertently fail to file all 
of the required paperwork with their post-travel submission. That is 
not an indication that the information was not provided to the 
Committee prior to the trip and before the Committee approved the 
request, only that the traveler's subsequent submission was incomplete.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The post-travel filings are made available to the public in 
a searchable online database on the Clerk's Web site, at http:/
/clerk.house.gov/public_disc/giftTravel-search.aspx. The 
public, the media, and outside groups have used this valuable 
resource for years, and the Committee anticipates that they 
will continue to do so. The Committee requires those Members, 
officers, and employees who are required to file financial 
disclosure statements, as discussed in Section III, to also 
provide information about privately-sponsored, officially-
connected travel on their financial disclosure filings, but the 
public should be aware that much more detailed and timely 
public filings regarding such travel are required, and the most 
authoritative source of those filings is the Clerk's Web site.

                       III. FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

    Title I of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (EIGA), as 
amended (5 U.S.C. app. Sec. Sec. 101-111), requires certain 
officials in all branches of the federal government, as well as 
candidates for federal office, to file publicly-available 
Financial Disclosure Statements (Statements). These Statements 
disclose information concerning the filer's finances, as well 
as those of certain family members. By May 15 of each year, 
these ``covered individuals'' are required to file a Statement 
that provides information for the preceding calendar year. In 
addition, the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act 
(STOCK Act) amended EIGA in 2012 to add a requirement that 
financial disclosure filers must report certain securities 
transactions over $1,000 no later than 45 days after the 
transaction. The Committee has termed these interim reports 
``Periodic Transaction Reports'' or ``PTRs.''
    Financial disclosure filings are not intended to be net 
worth statements, nor are they well suited to that purpose. As 
the Commission on Administrative Review of the 95th Congress 
stated in recommending broader financial disclosure 
requirements: ``The objectives of financial disclosure are to 
inform the public about the financial interests of government 
officials in order to increase public confidence in the 
integrity of government and to deter potential conflicts of 
interest.''\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \10\House Comm'n on Admin. Review, Financial Ethics, H. Doc. 95-73, 
96th Cong., 1st Sess. 6 (1977).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    All Members of the House, including Members who are serving 
the first year of their first term, are required to file a 
Statement. In addition, any officer or employee of the House 
who was paid at or above 120 percent of the minimum pay for 
Executive Branch GS-15 (the ``senior staff'' rate) for at least 
60 days in a calendar year must file a Statement on or before 
May 15 of the following year. Certain other employees, 
including those designated by a Member as a ``principal 
assistant'' for financial disclosure purposes and employees who 
are shared staff of three or more offices, are also subject to 
some financial disclosure filing requirements.
    Starting in 2013, financial disclosure filers were able to 
use an online electronic filing system to draft and submit 
their Statements and PTRs. Thanks to a very industrious 
collaboration with the Clerk of the House to create the online 
system, and extensive outreach and education, more than half of 
all Members and staff used the online electronic filing system 
to submit their calendar year 2016 Statements. Specifically, 
63% of Members and 72% of House staff used the online system to 
draft and submit their 2016 Statements.
    The Committee engages in substantial training efforts to 
assist filers with completing their Statements and PTRs. The 
Committee held three briefings for Members, officers, and 
employees. The Committee hosted seven walk-in clinics to 
support filers' use of the electronic filing system for 
Statements and PTRs.
    For the 114th Congress, the Committee continued its long-
standing practice of Committee staff meeting with Members, 
officers, and employees of the House to assist filers with 
their Statements and PTRs. Committee staff responded to 
telephone, e-mail, and in-person questions from filers on an 
as-needed basis, in addition to reviewing drafts of Statements 
and PTRs. The Committee encourages all financial disclosure 
filers to avail themselves of opportunities to seek and receive 
information and assistance.
    For calendar year 2015, the Legislative Resource Center of 
the Clerk's office referred a total of 3,516 Financial 
Disclosure Statements to the Committee for review. Of those, 
3,177 were Statements filed by current or new House Members or 
employees, and 339 were Statements filed by candidates for the 
House. The Clerk's office also referred a total of 1,193 PTRs 
to the Committee for review. The Committee received 554 PTRs 
from Members and 639 PTRs from officers and employees.
    For calendar year 2016, the Legislative Resource Center of 
the Clerk's office referred a total of 4,597 Statements to the 
Committee for review. Of those, 3,777 were Statements filed by 
current or new House Members or employees, and 820 were 
Statements filed by candidates for the House. The Clerk's 
office also referred a total of 2,016 PTRs to the Committee for 
review. The Committee received 818 PTRs from Members and 1198 
PTRs from officers and employees.
    Where the Committee's review indicated that a filed 
Statement or PTR was deficient, the Committee requested an 
amendment from the filer. Such amendments are routine and, 
without evidence of a knowing or willful violation, the 
Committee will usually take no further action after the 
amendment has been filed. Amendments are made publicly 
available in the same manner as other financial disclosure 
filings. The Committee also followed up with filers whose 
Statements indicated non-compliance with applicable law, such 
as the outside employment and outside earned income 
limitations.
    More information about financial disclosure, including the 
Committee's instruction booklet for filers and blank copies of 
Statement and PTR forms, is available on the Committee's Web 
site, at https://ethics.house.gov/financial-dislosure. In 
addition, financial disclosure filings of Members and 
candidates and other information about financial disclosure is 
available on the Clerk's Web site, at http://clerk.house.gov/
public_disc/financial.aspx.

                          IV. COMMITTEE RULES

    After the beginning of each Congress, the Committee must 
adopt rules for that Congress. On February 12, 2015, the 
Committee met and adopted the Committee rules for the 114th 
Congress. The substance of the Committee rules for the 114th 
Congress was largely identical to the amended rules adopted in 
the 113th Congress.\11\
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    \11\In the 112th Congress, as a result of the efforts of a working 
group formed to assess the Committee's rules and procedures, numerous 
changes were made to the Committee's investigative rules, including 
changes to Committee Rules 4, 9, 17A, 18, 19 and 23. Those changes were 
adopted by the Committee on May 18, 2012. House Comm. on Ethics, 
Summary of Activities One Hundred Twelfth Congress, H. Rept. 112-730, 
112th Cong. 2nd Sess. at 21 (2012).
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    A copy of the Committee Rules for the 114th Congress is 
included as Appendix III to this Report.

                           V. INVESTIGATIONS

    Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution grants each 
chamber of Congress the power to ``punish its Members for 
disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, 
expel a Member.'' The Committee is designated by House rule as 
the body which conducts the investigative and adjudicatory 
functions which usually precede a vote by the full House 
regarding such punishment or expulsion. House Rule XI, clause 
3, as well as Committee Rules 13 through 28, describe specific 
guidelines and procedures for the exercise of that authority.
    The Committee's investigations are conducted either 
pursuant to authorization by the Chairman and Ranking Member, 
under Committee Rule 18(a), or pursuant to a vote by the 
Committee to empanel an Investigative Subcommittee (ISC). Most 
investigations are conducted pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a). 
Even those investigations that ultimately result in the 
formation of an ISC usually begin as Committee Rule 18(a) 
investigations. Committee Rule 18(a) and ISC investigations 
differ only in process, not substance. In both kinds of 
investigations, Committee staff is authorized by Members of the 
Committee to interview witnesses, request documents and 
information, and engage in other investigative actions. 
Further, both the Committee and ISC may authorize subpoenas for 
documents and witness testimony.\12\ Members of the Committee 
can, and do, attend and participate in voluntary interviews 
with witnesses in both 18(a) and ISC investigations. House and 
Committee Rules require attendance of Members at interviews 
conducted pursuant to subpoena in both 18(a) and ISC 
investigations.
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    \12\The mechanism for issuing a subpoena by the Committee or an ISC 
does differ. Where an ISC has been empanelled, it can authorize a 
subpoena, to be signed by the Committee's Chairman and Ranking Member. 
If the investigation is at the Committee Rule 18(a) stage, the full 
Committee can vote to issue a subpoena to be signed by the Chairman.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee may opt to investigate a matter under 
Committee Rule 18(a) rather than an ISC for a number of 
reasons. For example, investigating pursuant to Committee Rule 
18(a) preserves the Committee's ability both to deploy its 
limited resources in the most efficient manner possible, and to 
maintain the confidentiality of its investigations. In general, 
the Committee publicly announces when it has voted to empanel 
an ISC. In contrast, most investigations conducted pursuant to 
Committee Rule 18(a) are confidential. Maintaining the 
confidentiality of investigations minimizes the risk of 
interference and protects the identities of complainants. 
Indeed, in recent investigations, employees of a Member have 
brought allegations of misconduct to the Committee when they 
have remained in the employ of the Member and faced 
intimidation or reprisal.\13\ Maintaining a confidential 
investigation also avoids unnecessarily tarnishing a Member's 
reputation before a determination of wrongdoing has been made. 
As discussed further in this report, public disclosure of an 
ongoing confidential Committee investigation can also 
significantly impair the Committee's investigation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \13\See, e.g., House Comm. on Standards of Official Conduct, In the 
Matter of Allegations Relating to Representative Laura Richardson, H. 
Rept. 112-642, 112th Cong. 2d Sess. (2012).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The fact that an investigation is conducted in a 
confidential manner does not preclude the Committee from making 
a public statement at the end of the investigation. For 
example, in this and other recent Congresses, the Committee has 
issued public reports to the House and letters of reproval in a 
number of investigative matters that were initiated by the 
Committee and that had not previously been publicly disclosed 
by the Committee.\14\
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    \14\See, e.g., House Comm. on Ethics, In the Matter of Allegations 
Relating to Representative David McKinley, H. Rept. 114-795, 114th 
Cong. 2d Sess. (2016); House Comm. on Ethics, In the Matter of 
Allegations Relating to Representative Phil Gingrey, H. Rept. 113-664, 
113th Cong. 2d Sess. (2014); House Comm. on Ethics, In the Matter of 
Allegations Relating to Representative Judy Chu, H. Rept. 113-665, 
113th Cong. 2d Sess. (2014).
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    Whether the Committee investigates a matter under Committee 
Rule 18(a) or through an ISC, by rule, the Committee may choose 
to exercise its investigative authority in several different 
scenarios.\15\ However, most Committee investigations begin 
when the Committee, on its own initiative, undertakes an 
investigation. In the 114th Congress, the Committee commenced 
or continued investigative fact-gathering regarding 78 separate 
investigative matters, most of which were begun at the 
Committee's initiative. Those matters also included referrals 
from the OCE. In the 114th Congress, the OCE referred 24 
matters to the Committee, 18 with a recommendation for further 
review and 6 with a recommendation for dismissal. For the six 
matters that OCE referred with a recommendation to the 
Committee that it dismiss the matter, OCE did not provide the 
Committee with any Findings explaining the recommendation, only 
a one-page Report with a conclusory recommendation that the 
matter be dismissed.
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    \15\Specifically, the Committee may exercise its investigative 
authority when: (1) information offered as a complaint by a Member of 
the House of Representatives is transmitted directly to the Committee; 
(2) information offered as a complaint by an individual not a Member of 
the House is transmitted to the Committee, provided that a Member of 
the House certifies in writing that such Member believes the 
information is submitted in good faith and warrants the review and 
consideration of the Committee; (3) the Committee, on its own 
initiative, undertakes an investigation; (4) a Member, officer, or 
employee is convicted in a Federal, State, or local court of a felony; 
(5) the House of Representatives, by resolution, authorizes or directs 
the Committee to undertake an inquiry or investigation; or (6) a 
referral from the OCE is transmitted to the Committee. See Committee 
Rule 14(a).
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    In the 114th Congress, the Committee issued letters of 
reproval in two matters, one following a confidential 
Committee-initiated investigation under Committee Rule 18(a) 
that was not publicly disclosed until the conclusion of the 
investigation, and one following an investigation conducted by 
an ISC following receipt of a referral from OCE that 
recommended the Committee further review the allegations in 
question. Including those two matters, since 2008, the 
Committee has recommended that the House issue a censure in one 
matter, recommended in another matter that the House issue a 
reprimand, and issued ten letters of reproval. Eight of those 
resolutions followed investigations initiated by the Committee 
under its own authority, while four of those resolutions 
followed recommendations by the OCE that the Committee review 
the allegations.
    The OCE is an independent office within the House created 
by a House resolution in the 110th Congress after the release 
of a report of the Democratic Members of the Special Ethics 
Task Force on Ethics Enforcement (Task Force Report).\16\ 
According to the Task Force Report, the OCE Board has the 
responsibility to review information on allegations of 
misconduct by Members, officers, and employees of the House and 
make recommendations to the Committee for the Committee's 
official consideration and action.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \16\Special Task Force on Ethics Enforcement, 110th Cong., Report 
of the Democratic Members of the Special Task Force on Ethics 
Enforcement (Comm. Print 2007).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Two OCE Board members may initiate a review by notifying 
all other OCE Board members in writing. The OCE Board then has 
30 calendar days to consider the matter in a preliminary review 
phase and may vote to either terminate the review or progress 
to the second-phase review. Once in the second phase, the OCE 
Board has 45 calendar days (with a possible one-time extension 
of 14 days) to complete consideration of the matter and refer 
it to the Committee with a recommendation for dismissal, 
further review, or as unresolved due to a tie vote. The OCE 
Board's referral may not contain any conclusions regarding the 
validity of the allegations upon which it is based or the guilt 
or innocence of the individual who is the subject of the 
review. The Task Force believed that ``the timeline 
requirements instituted by the new process are critical: 
matters will spend at most three months under consideration by 
the Board of the OCE before being referred to the Committee for 
resolution.''\17\ The Task Force considered whether to give the 
OCE either direct or indirect subpoena power. But the Task 
Force Report ultimately decided not to give the OCE subpoena 
power based on a number of factors. Instead, the Task Force 
Report stated that the Board's referral may include 
recommendations for the issuance of subpoenas by the Committee 
where Members feel it appropriate.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \17\Id. at 14. The 24 OCE referrals received by the Committee in 
the 114th Congress were transmitted an average of 120 days after the 
start of the preliminary review phase.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    When the Committee receives a referral from the OCE, it is 
required to review the referral ``without prejudice or 
presumptions as to the merit of the allegations.''\18\ The 
Committee thus makes an independent determination about how to 
proceed in the matter based on the information before the 
Committee, which may include not only the OCE referral and 
supporting documents provided to the Committee by the OCE, but 
other information. It is not uncommon that the Committee's 
review will require more than 90 days, because of the need to 
review documents, interview witnesses, and/or assess the legal 
significance of evidence, among other investigative steps. Some 
investigations may require the review of tens of thousands, if 
not hundreds of thousands, of pages of documents. For example, 
in the 113th Congress one investigation that spanned multiple 
Congresses required the Committee to review more than 220,000 
pages of documents to resolve the matter.\19\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \18\Committee Rule 17A(a).
    \19\House Comm. on Ethics, In the Matter of Allegations Relating to 
Representative Don Young, H. Rept. 113-487, 113th Cong. 2d Sess. at 2 
(2014). That investigation was begun at the Committee's initiative 
under Committee Rule 18(a). Subsequently, the Committee established an 
ISC to continue the investigation. Ultimately, the Committee issued a 
public report and letter of reproval to the Member.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In one matter referred to the Committee during the 114th 
Congress, although the OCE recommended dismissal, the Committee 
continued review of the matter. In another matter referred 
during the 114th Congress, the Committee agreed with the OCE's 
recommendation to dismiss certain allegations against a Member 
but continued its own, confidential review of related 
allegations against the same Member that were not part of the 
OCE's referral. As described further below, one of those 
matters remains pending. Had the Committee simply accepted the 
OCE recommendation to dismiss each matter, it would not have 
been required to make any public statement or conduct any 
further investigation.
    In some instances, the Committee may be asked to defer its 
investigation by another law enforcement entity, generally the 
U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The Committee typically 
honors such requests, barring unusual circumstances. For one 
thing, parallel investigations pose the risk of compromising 
one another. Also, for the most serious criminal violations, 
only DOJ can pursue a prosecution to seek imprisonment, the 
most serious possible consequence for a violation of law.\20\ 
Provided that the Committee still retains jurisdiction, a 
decision by the Committee to defer does not preclude the 
Committee from continuing its investigation later, regardless 
of the outcome of the other entity's investigation. In 
addition, a decision by the Committee to defer an investigation 
does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or 
reflect any judgment on behalf of the Committee. In the 114th 
Congress, the Committee did opt to defer several investigations 
at the request of DOJ, as described further below.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \20\DOJ will not lose jurisdiction to continue an investigation and 
pursue prosecution, if it determines that is appropriate, in the event 
that a Member or employee leaves the House, whether through resignation 
or defeat for reelection.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee publicly addressed 23 investigative matters 
during the 114th Congress. In addition to confidential matters, 
the Committee also carried over several public matters from the 
113th Congress. In the 114th Congress, the Committee continued 
to address the matters concerning Representatives Vernon G. 
Buchanan, Luis Gutierrez, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Markwayne 
Mullin, Bobby Rush, Aaron Schock, and Ed Whitfield. A 
chronological overview of public statements made by the 
Committee in the 114th Congress regarding investigative matters 
follows.
    On March 25, 2015, the Committee unanimously voted to 
establish an ISC with regard to allegations that Representative 
Ed Whitfield failed to prohibit lobbying contacts between his 
staff and his wife, improperly used his official position for 
the beneficial interest of himself or his wife, and dispensed 
special favors or privileges to either his wife, the Humane 
Society Legislative Fund, or the Humane Society of the United 
States.
    On July 29, 2015, the Committee unanimously voted to 
establish an ISC with regard to allegations forming the basis 
for criminal charges of conspiracy, racketeering, bribery, 
fraud, falsification of records, making false statements, and 
money laundering, as filed against Representative Chaka Fattah 
in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of 
Pennsylvania on July 29, 2015.
    On July 31, 2015, the Committee transmitted a Report to the 
House regarding allegations relating to privately-sponsored, 
officially-connected travel by Members and staff of the House 
to Azerbaijan in May 2013.
    On September 3, 2015, the Committee announced that, 
pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a), it would continue to review 
allegations referred by the OCE that Representative Michael 
Honda used official resources for campaign purposes, improperly 
linked official activities to campaign or political support, 
and used congressional staff to assist him with personal 
matters.
    On September 28, 2015, the Committee announced that, 
pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a), it would continue to review 
allegations that Representative Blake Farenthold sexually 
harassed a former member of his staff, discriminated against 
her on the basis of her gender, and retaliated against her for 
complaining about the allegedly unlawful treatment.
    On November 18, 2015, the Committee unanimously voted to 
establish an ISC with regard to allegations that Representative 
Robert Pittenger received compensation for his involvement with 
a fiduciary business, a real estate investment firm known as 
Pittenger Land Investments, Inc. The Committee, following 
precedent, unanimously recommended to the ISC that it defer 
action on its investigation in response to a request from DOJ.
    On December 14, 2015, the Committee transmitted a Report to 
the House regarding allegations relating to Representative 
Jared Polis.
    On March 16, 2016, the Committee unanimously voted to 
establish an ISC with regard to allegations that Representative 
Corrine Brown engaged in improper conduct relating to certain 
outside organizations, including allegations that she may have 
conspired with other persons in connection with fraudulent 
activity, improperly solicited charitable donations, used 
campaign funds for personal purposes, used official resources 
for impermissible non-official purposes, failed to comply with 
tax laws, and made false statements, and/or failed to make 
required disclosures, to the House of Representatives and 
Federal Election Commission. The Committee, following 
precedent, unanimously recommended to the Investigative 
Subcommittee that it defer action on its investigation in 
response to a request from DOJ.
    On April 5, 2016, the Committee announced that, pursuant to 
Committee Rule 18(a), it would continue to review allegations 
referred by the OCE that Representative Alan Grayson may have 
permitted the use of his name and received compensation from 
entities providing professional services involving a fiduciary 
relationship, agreed to receive compensation for 
representational services rendered by another at a time when he 
was a Member of Congress in proceedings in which the United 
States had a direct and substantial interest, did not report 
required information in his annual financial disclosure 
statements, may have permitted the use of official resources to 
support an outside business, held an agreement with the United 
States while serving in Congress, and used official resources 
for campaign purposes.
    On June 24, 2016, the Committee transmitted a Report to the 
House regarding allegations related to Representative Vernon G. 
Buchanan.
    On July 14, 2016, the Committee transmitted a Report to the 
House regarding allegations relating to Representative Ed 
Whitfield.
    On August 11, 2016, the Committee announced that, pursuant 
to Committee Rule 18(a), it would continue to review 
allegations referred by the OCE that Representative Roger 
Williams improperly took official action on a matter in which 
he had a personal financial interest.
    On August 17, 2016, the Committee announced that, pursuant 
to Committee Rule 18(a), it would continue to review 
allegations referred by the OCE that Representative Mark 
Meadows retained an employee who did not perform duties 
commensurate with the compensation the employee received and 
certified that the compensation met applicable House standards.
    On September 28, 2016, the Committee transmitted a Report 
to the House regarding allegations relating to Representative 
David McKinley.
    On November 29, 2016, the Committee announced that, 
pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a), it would continue to review 
allegations referred by the OCE that Representative Marlin 
Stutzman used campaign funds for a personal purpose.
    On December 15, 2016, the Committee announced that, 
pursuant to House Rule XI, clause 3(b)(8)(A), and Committee 
Rules 17A(b)(1)(A), 17A(c)(1) and 17A(j), the Chairman and 
Ranking Member of the Committee jointly decided to extend the 
matter regarding Representative Duncan Hunter, which was 
transmitted to the Committee by the OCE on August 31, 2016. The 
Committee stated that it would announce its course of action in 
this matter following its organizational meeting and adoption 
of Committee Rules in the 115th Congress.
    These investigative matters are described in more detail 
below, in alphabetical order. Copies of all of the Committee's 
public statements related to these matters are included as 
Appendix IV to this Report. Those statements, along with any 
attachments referenced in the statements, are available on the 
Committee's Web site. All of the Committee's Reports as filed 
with the House are also available on the Committee's Web site.

In the Matter of Allegations related to Representative Corrine Brown

    On March 16, 2016, the Committee unanimously voted to 
establish an Investigative Subcommittee (ISC) to determine 
whether Representative Corrine Brown violated the Code of 
Official Conduct or any law, rule, regulation, or other 
applicable standard of conduct in the performance of her duties 
or the discharge of her responsibilities, with respect to 
allegations that she engaged in improper conduct relating to 
certain outside organizations, including allegations that she 
may have conspired with other persons in connection with 
fraudulent activities, improperly solicited charitable 
donations, used campaign funds for personal purposes, used 
official resources for impermissible non-official purposes, 
failed to comply with tax laws, and made false statements, and/
or failed to make required disclosures, to the House of 
Representatives and the Federal Election Commission (FEC). The 
Committee, following precedent, unanimously recommended to the 
ISC that it defer action on its investigation in response to a 
request from DOJ.
    On July 6, 2016, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District 
of Florida filed an indictment against Representative Brown in 
federal district court, charging her with mail and wire fraud, 
conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, theft of government 
funds, a scheme to conceal material facts, the corrupt endeavor 
to obstruct and impede the due administration of the internal 
revenue laws, and filing false federal tax returns. Proceedings 
in that matter are pending in federal court.
    Representative Brown lost her bid for reelection to the 
House for the 115th Congress, and the Committee will not have 
jurisdiction over her after January 3, 2017.

In the Matter of Allegations related to Representative Vernon G. 
        Buchanan

    On January 27, 2012, the OCE forwarded to the Committee a 
Report and Findings in which it recommended further review of 
allegations that Representative Vern Buchanan may have violated 
18 U.S.C. 201, 1505, and 1512, as well as House Rule XXIII, 
clause 1, by making the settlement of a lawsuit against a 
former business partner contingent on the business partner 
signing a false affidavit to be filed with the FEC. The 
Committee in the 112th Congress released the OCE Report and 
Findings, along with Representative Buchanan's response, on May 
9, 2012, and noted in a public statement that the Committee was 
continuing to review the allegations pursuant to Committee Rule 
18(a).
    In addition to the allegations that OCE referred to the 
Committee with a recommendation for further review, the 
Committee also investigated allegations relating to 
Representative Buchanan's campaign, including whether several 
car dealerships partly owned by Representative Buchanan 
illegally reimbursed their employees for contributions to 
Representative Buchanan's House campaigns, and whether 
Representative Buchanan himself may have been aware of the 
unlawful reimbursements at the time they occurred, or had some 
role in directing or approving them.
    These allegations were also the subject of review by the 
FEC and the DOJ, and were considered by a Florida state court 
as part of civil litigation involving Representative Buchanan. 
Much of the material reviewed by the Committee in its 
investigation--over 6,000 pages of documents, including 
statements by 22 witnesses--was generated during these parallel 
proceedings. The Committee also conducted a voluntary interview 
with Representative Buchanan.
    On June 24, 2016, the Committee in the 114th Congress 
unanimously voted to release a Report and take no further 
action against Representative Buchanan.\21\ In its Report, the 
Committee concluded that there was insufficient evidence to 
sustain any of the aforementioned allegations or to warrant any 
disciplinary action against Representative Buchanan. 
Specifically, the Committee concluded that three car 
dealerships partly owned by Representative Buchanan did 
illegally reimburse their employees for contributions to 
Representative Buchanan's House campaigns. However, the 
Committee found that the evidence was not sufficient to 
conclude that Representative Buchanan himself was aware of the 
unlawful reimbursements when they were made, or that he had any 
role in directing or approving them. The Committee further 
concluded that the evidence did not support a finding that 
Representative Buchanan improperly influenced his former 
business partner's testimony before the FEC. However, the 
Committee did caution Representative Buchanan to exercise more 
diligence over affairs related to his campaign.
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    \21\House Comm. on Ethics, In the Matter of Allegations Relating to 
Representative Vernon G. Buchanan, H. Rept. 114-643, 114th Cong. 2d 
Sess. (2016).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

In the Matter of Allegations related to Representative Blake Farenthold

    On June 29, 2015, the OCE forwarded to the Committee a 
Report in which it recommended dismissal of allegations that 
Representative Blake Farenthold sexually harassed a former 
member of his staff, discriminated against her on the basis of 
her gender, and retaliated against her for complaining about 
the allegedly unlawful treatment in violation of federal law, 
House Rule XXIII, clause 9, and the Congressional 
Accountability Act. OCE did not provide the Committee with any 
Findings explaining the basis for its recommendation. The 
Committee released the OCE Report on September 28, 2015, and 
noted in a public statement that, although the OCE had 
recommended dismissal of the matter, the Committee was 
continuing to review the allegations pursuant to Committee Rule 
18(a).
    As of the conclusion of the 114th Congress, the Committee 
had not completed its investigation into this matter. 
Representative Farenthold was reelected to the House for the 
115th Congress.

In the Matter of Allegations related to Representative Chaka Fattah

    On July 29, 2015, the Committee unanimously voted to 
empanel an ISC to determine whether Representative Chaka Fattah 
violated the Code of Official Conduct or any law, rule, 
regulation, or other applicable standard of conduct in the 
performance of his duties or the discharge of his 
responsibilities, with respect to allegations forming the basis 
for criminal charges of conspiracy, racketeering, bribery, 
fraud, falsification of records, making false statements, and 
money laundering, as filed against him in the United States 
District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on July 
29, 2015.
    On June 21, 2016, Representative Fattah was convicted on 
all 23 counts in the indictment. Representative Fattah resigned 
from the House on June 23, 2016. On the date of Representative 
Fattah's resignation, the ISC's and the Committee's 
jurisdiction to continue their investigation of Representative 
Fattah ended.
    On October 21, 2016, a federal judge upheld the conviction 
on most counts, but dismissed others. Appeals in the matter are 
pending.

In the Matter of Allegations related to Representative Alan Grayson

    On January 6, 2016, the OCE forwarded to the Committee a 
Report and Findings in which it recommended further review of 
allegations that Representative Alan Grayson may have violated 
federal law, House rules, and standards of conduct when he 
permitted the use of his name by, and received compensation 
from, entities providing professional services involving a 
fiduciary relationship; received compensation for 
representational services rendered by another while he was a 
Member of Congress, in proceedings in which the United States 
had a direct and substantial interest; did not provide required 
information on his annual financial disclosure statements; 
permitted the use of official resources to support an outside 
business; held an agreement with the United States while 
serving in Congress; and used official resources for campaign 
purposes. The Committee released the OCE Report and Findings, 
along with Representative Grayson's response, on April 5, 2016, 
and noted in a public statement that the Committee was 
continuing to review the allegations pursuant to Committee Rule 
18(a).
    Representative Grayson did not run for reelection to the 
House for the 115th Congress, and the Committee will not have 
jurisdiction over him after January 3, 2017.

In the Matter of Allegations related to Representative Luis V. 
        Gutierrez

    On December 4, 2013, the OCE forwarded to the Committee in 
the 113th Congress a Report and Findings in which it 
recommended further review of allegations that Representative 
Luis V. Gutierrez impermissibly used his Members' 
Representational Allowance (MRA) to pay a consultant to perform 
work on behalf of his official office. The referral also 
included an allegation that Representative Gutierrez 
impermissibly allowed the consultant to lobby him while the 
consultant was employed by Representative Gutierrez. The 
Committee released the OCE Report and Findings, along with 
Representative Gutierrez's response, on May 5, 2014, and noted 
in a public statement that the Committee was continuing to 
review the allegations pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a).
    As of the conclusion of the 114th Congress, the Committee 
had not completed its investigation into this matter. 
Representative Gutirrez was reelected to the House for the 
115th Congress.

In the Matter of Allegations related to Representative Mike Honda

    On June 5, 2015, the OCE forwarded to the Committee a 
Report and Findings in which it recommended further review of 
allegations that Representative Mike Honda may have used 
official resources for campaign purposes and may have 
improperly linked official activities to campaign or political 
support. The OCE Report and Findings recommended dismissal of 
an allegation that Representative Honda used congressional 
staff to assist him with personal matters. The Committee 
released the OCE Report and Findings, along with Representative 
Honda's response, on September 3, 2015, and noted in a public 
statement that the Committee was continuing to review the 
allegations pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a).
    Representative Honda lost his bid for reelection to the 
House for the 115th Congress, and the Committee will not have 
jurisdiction over him after January 3, 2017.

In the Matter of Allegations related to Representative Duncan Hunter

    On August 31, 2016, the OCE forwarded to the Committee a 
matter involving Representative Duncan Hunter. Committee Rule 
17A(j) provides that the Committee may postpone any reporting 
requirement related to an OCE referral that falls within 60 
days of an election in which the subject of the referral is a 
candidate. Representative Hunter was on the general election 
ballot on November 8, 2016. Therefore, the announcement that 
the Chairman and Ranking Member jointly decided to extend the 
matter of Representative Hunter for a 45-day period, pursuant 
to Committee Rules 17A(b)(1)(A) and 17A(c)(1), was postponed 
until December 14, 2016. On that same day, the Chairman and 
Ranking Member released a public statement that the Committee 
would announce its course of action in this matter following 
its organizational meeting and adoption of Committee Rules in 
the 115th Congress.
    As of the conclusion of the 114th Congress, the Committee 
had not completed its review of OCE's referral. Representative 
Hunter was reelected to the House for the 115th Congress.

In the Matter of Allegations related to Representative David McKinley

    On November 2, 2010, Representative David McKinley was 
first elected to the House. At that time, he was the majority 
owner of a West Virginia firm, McKinley & Associates (the 
``Firm''), that provided engineering and architectural 
services. Soon after his election, Representative McKinley 
sought advice from Committee staff regarding his ownership of, 
and role with, McKinley & Associates. Staff's original advice 
was that the Firm would need to change its name because 
architecture is a fiduciary service, and federal law prohibits 
a House Member from permitting a firm which provides fiduciary 
services from using the Member's name.
    Representative McKinley disagreed with that advice, and 
attempted to persuade the Committee to change its position, 
asserting that McKinley & Associates was a ``family name,'' 
which referred to both himself and his father, who was a well-
known engineer in West Virginia. While the Committee considered 
Representative McKinley's request for a formal advisory 
opinion, he began the process of selling his interest in the 
Firm to the Firm's Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP), without 
changing the name. Representative McKinley pursued this option 
based on the advice of his counsel that selling the Firm, with 
the name intact, would resolve any violations of federal law or 
House Rules. However, Representative McKinley did not inform 
the Committee of the sales process, or ask the Committee if his 
counsel's interpretation of the applicable federal law and 
House Rule was correct.\22\ Without waiting for the formal 
advisory opinion he had requested, and after receiving notice 
that the opinion, when issued, would require him to change the 
Firm's name, Representative McKinley signed an agreement that 
committed him to sell the Firm, as McKinley & Associates. 
Shortly after making this agreement, on June 24, 2011, the 
Committee issued a formal advisory opinion to Representative 
McKinley, stating that the Committee concluded that the Firm 
was named after Representative McKinley, not his father, and 
that federal law and House Rules required the Firm to change 
its name.
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    \22\The Committee determined that Representative McKinley's counsel 
was incorrect in his belief that selling the Firm, with the McKinley 
name attached, would resolve the prohibition on a Member permitting his 
name to be used by a firm that provides fiduciary services. In fact, 
selling the Firm without requiring it to remove the Member's name would 
actually imply such permission.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    After the Committee learned that Representative McKinley 
had agreed to sell the Firm with his name attached, the 
Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee sent 
Representative McKinley a letter on August 24, 2012, stating 
that the Committee expected Representative McKinley to change 
the Firm's name, and explaining that a failure to do so could 
be viewed as a knowing violation of the Ethics in Government 
Act (EIGA) and House Rule XXV, clause 2, and could result in 
further Committee proceedings against him. On September 14, 
2012, Representative McKinley responded through counsel and 
stated that he had sold the Firm to the ESOP, and that he 
therefore could not change the Firm's name.
    Due to Representative McKinley's failure to follow the 
Committee's formal advisory opinion by changing the Firm's 
name, the Chairman and Ranking Member authorized staff to 
investigate whether Representative McKinley's actions violated 
any House rule, law, regulation, or other standard of conduct. 
Pursuant to this authorization, under Committee Rule 18(a), the 
Committee sent separate requests for information to 
Representative McKinley and the Firm in March 2013. The 
Committee also interviewed relevant witnesses, including the 
Firm's President.
    In July 2015, the Committee notified Representative 
McKinley that it was considering the adoption of a public 
Report and Letter of Reproval regarding this matter, and 
offered him the opportunity to review the draft materials. 
Representative McKinley personally reviewed the draft Report 
and Reproval in November 2015, and submitted a written 
response, through counsel, in February 2016. Representative 
McKinley appeared before the Committee in September 2016.\23\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \23\Although no House or Committee Rule requires it, the Committee 
has generally maintained a ``blackout'' period on public statements, 
including reports, in the 60 days prior to an election in which the 
subject of the statement is a candidate. This is consistent with House 
and Committee rules regarding receipt of complaints, referrals from 
OCE, and certain other public statements during this period. In June 
2016, the Committee invited Representative McKinley to appear before 
the Committee in July 2016 to be heard in person. Representative 
McKinley informed the Committee that he did not believe that was 
sufficient time for him to prepare and asked if he could appear in 
September 2016, instead. The Committee granted that request, subject to 
a clear written caution that if he chose that course the Committee's 
blackout practice would not apply to any final resolution of the 
matter. Representative McKinley chose to delay his appearance until 
September 2016. Although he appeared before the Committee prior to the 
start of the blackout period, the Committee's deliberations continued 
into the blackout period, and the Committee concluded its deliberations 
and voted to approve the final resolution within the blackout period.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Following the Committee's investigation, and after hearing 
from Representative McKinley in writing and in person, the 
Committee determined that, by failing to remove his name from 
the Firm before selling it, Representative McKinley violated 5 
U.S.C. app. Sec. 502, which provides that a Member shall not 
``permit [his] name to be used by'' firms providing 
professional services involving a fiduciary relationship. 
Representative McKinley's conduct also violated House Rule XXV, 
clause 2, which imposes limits on Members' outside earned 
income, and House Rule XXIII, clauses 1 and 2, which state that 
``[a] Member . . . shall behave at all times in a manner that 
shall reflect creditably on the House,'' and ``shall adhere to 
the spirit and the letter of the Rules of the House.'' The 
Committee also found that the Firm, by its continued use of the 
McKinley name, could be in violation of 5 U.S.C. Sec. 501, 
which prohibits firms that practice before federal agencies 
from using the name of a Member of Congress in advertising the 
business. The Committee informed the Firm of this 
determination, and cautioned that it should either change the 
Firm's name or avoid contracting with federal agencies.
    On September 28, 2016, the Committee submitted a report to 
the House describing the facts and its findings in this matter 
and issued a public Letter of Reproval to Representative 
McKinley.\24\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \24\House Comm. on Ethics, In the Matter of Allegations Relating to 
Representative David McKinley, H. Rept. 114-795, 114th Cong. 2d Sess. 
(2016).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

In the Matter of Allegations related to Representative Cathy McMorris 
        Rodgers

    On December 23, 2013, the OCE forwarded to the Committee a 
Report and Findings in which it recommended further review of 
allegations that Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers may have 
violated House rules by using House resources for campaign 
activity and combined campaign and House resources for her 
campaign for a House leadership position. The Committee 
released the OCE Report and Findings, along with Representative 
McMorris Rodgers' response, on March 24, 2014, and noted in a 
public statement that the Committee was continuing to review 
the allegations pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a).
    As of the conclusion of the 114th Congress, the Committee 
had not completed its investigation into this matter. 
Representative McMorris Rodgers was reelected to the House for 
the 115th Congress.

In the Matter of Allegations related to Representative Mark Meadows

    On March 18, 2016, the OCE forwarded to the Committee a 
Report and Findings in which it recommended further review of 
allegations that Representative Mark Meadows violated House 
rules and standards of conduct by retaining an employee who did 
not perform duties commensurate with the compensation the 
employee received, and by certifying that the compensation met 
applicable House standards. Committee Rule 17A(j) provides that 
the Committee may postpone any reporting requirement related to 
an OCE referral that falls within 60 days of an election in 
which the subject of the referral is a candidate. 
Representative Meadows was on the primary election ballot on 
June 7, 2016. Therefore, the announcement that the Chairman and 
Ranking Member jointly decided to extend the matter of 
Representative Meadows for a 45-day period, pursuant to 
Committee Rules 17A(b)(1)(A) and 17A(c)(1), was postponed until 
July 5, 2016. The Committee released the OCE Report and 
Findings, along with Representative Meadows' response, on 
August 17, 2016, and noted in a public statement that the 
Committee was continuing to review the allegations pursuant to 
Committee Rule 18(a).
    As of the conclusion of the 114th Congress, the Committee 
had not completed its investigation into this matter. 
Representative Meadows was reelected to the House for the 115th 
Congress.

In the Matter of Allegations related to Representative Markwayne Mullin

    On December 23, 2013, the OCE forwarded to the Committee a 
Report and Findings in which it recommended further review of 
allegations that Representative Markwayne Mullin received 
outside earned income in excess of the outside earned income 
limitations that apply to Members of Congress, and that he 
impermissibly received payment for his service on the board of 
directors of a company. The Committee released the OCE Report 
and Findings, along with Representative Mullin's response, on 
March 24, 2014, and noted in a public statement that the 
Committee was continuing to review the allegations pursuant to 
Committee Rule 18(a).
    As of the conclusion of the 114th Congress, the Committee 
had not completed its investigation into this matter. 
Representative Mullin was reelected to the House for the 115th 
Congress.

In the Matter of Officially-Connected Travel by House Members to 
        Azerbaijan in 2013

    Early in the 114th Congress, the Chairman and Ranking 
Member authorized Committee staff, pursuant to Committee Rule 
18(a), to investigate allegations that several House Members 
and employees may have received impermissible gifts of travel 
and tangible gifts in connection with privately-sponsored, 
officially-connected travel to Turkey and/or Azerbaijan, in 
violation of Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the United 
States Constitution (the Emoluments Clause), and various 
federal statutes and House rules. Prior to accepting the travel 
invitations, each of the House Members and employees who took 
part in the travel sought and obtained the Committee's approval 
to accept the travel as privately-sponsored, officially-
connected travel. Each sponsoring non-profit organization 
submitted required disclosure forms to the Committee, 
certifying that it was the sole sponsor of the trips, and that 
it had not accepted direct or indirect funding for the trips 
from another source. However, allegations later arose that the 
various non-profit sponsors may have misrepresented the true 
source of the funds used for the privately-sponsored, 
officially-connected travel, and that the trips had not 
complied with the requirements for such travel.
    On January 29, 2015, the OCE notified the Committee that it 
had initiated preliminary reviews of ten Members regarding 
their officially-connected travel to Turkey and/or Azerbaijan. 
On March 2, 2015, OCE notified the Committee that it was 
proceeding with a second-phase review for nine of the ten 
Members who were the subject of the preliminary reviews. On 
March 4, 2015, the Committee voted unanimously to request that 
OCE cease its review and immediately refer the matters to the 
Committee for its consideration, pursuant to House Rule XI, 
clause 3(r), and Committee Rule 17A(k)(1). Though the 
Committee's Chairman and Ranking Member sent a letter to OCE on 
March 4, 2015, formally requesting that it cease-and-refer the 
matters, OCE did not comply with that request. Instead, OCE 
continued its review.
    On May 8, 2015, the OCE forwarded to the Committee separate 
Reports for nine Members who participated in privately-
sponsored, officially-connected travel to Azerbaijan in May 
2013. Although OCE is prohibited from transmitting any findings 
following receipt of a cease-and-refer request from the 
Committee, OCE also transmitted additional materials that it 
characterized as findings, which recommended further review of 
allegations that each Member may have received an impermissible 
gift of travel expenses in violation of House rules and 
regulations, standards of conduct, and federal law.\25\ Such a 
recommendation was superfluous, as the Committee was, in fact, 
already investigating the allegations.\26\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \25\The materials transmitted by OCE to the Committee included 
citations to 21 interviews of witnesses, including the dates of those 
interviews. Of those 21 interviews, only 1 interview had been conducted 
prior to March 4, 2015, when the Committee informed OCE that it had 
voted to make a cease and refer request for these matters. House Comm. 
on Ethics, In the Matter of Officially-Connected Travel by House 
Members to Azerbaijan in 2013, H. Rept. 114-239, 114th Cong. 1st Sess. 
at 15, n.86 (2015).
    \26\Id. at 14.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On June 22, 2015, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the 
Committee announced that the Committee had voted to extend the 
Committee's review of the matters referred to the Committee by 
OCE. The statement by the Chairman and Ranking Member also 
noted that a newspaper had obtained, and published, materials 
transmitted by OCE to the Committee, without the Committee's 
authorization, and that the unauthorized release may have 
violated House rules and other standards of conduct, while also 
having a direct impact on the Committee's investigation, which 
began well before OCE transmitted the materials to the 
Committee. As discussed further in the Committee's public 
report at the conclusion of the matter, at the time of the 
newspaper's publication of OCE's materials, the Committee had 
already issued a number of subpoenas to various individuals, 
and had issued requests for information to a number of entities 
in foreign countries.\27\ Discussions with all of those parties 
about their cooperation with the Committee's investigation were 
ongoing. Following the newspaper's publication of the OCE 
materials, a central witness in the matter invoked his Fifth 
Amendment right and refused to comply with Committee subpoenas 
seeking his testimony and documents. Foreign entities outside 
of the Committee's jurisdiction to compel cooperation also 
subsequently declined to cooperate with the Committee's 
investigation. As such, the unauthorized disclosure of the 
material to the newspaper impeded the Committee's ongoing 
investigation, and prevented it from gathering information 
critical to its investigation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \27\Id. at 16-18.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The June 22 public statement of the Chairman and Ranking 
Member also explained that when the OCE transmits materials to 
the Committee, that does not resolve the matter, as an OCE 
referral is only a recommendation to the Committee about 
whether allegations in a particular matter should be 
investigated further or dismissed and an OCE referral is 
expressly precluded from containing any conclusions regarding 
the validity of the allegations upon which it is based or the 
guilt or innocence of the individual who is the subject of a 
review. Ultimately, only the Committee can determine whether a 
Member or other House employee has violated House rules or 
other standards of conduct.
    On July 16, 2015, the Committee sent letters to six Members 
who participated in the travel, recommending that they return 
or otherwise remedy certain tangible gifts they received during 
the trips. All six Members complied immediately and took--or 
committed to take--the corrective action recommended by the 
Committee in its letters.
    On July 29, 2015, the Committee voted unanimously to 
release a Report in this matter and take no further action with 
respect to any of the Members in question. Over the course of 
its investigation, the Committee issued 12 subpoenas and 18 
voluntary requests for information, interviewed ten witnesses, 
and collected nearly 190,000 pages of information. In so doing, 
the Committee found that the House travelers had submitted all 
required travel documentation in good faith, and found no 
evidence that the House travelers knew or should have known of 
apparent attempts by the non-profit sponsors to obscure the 
true sponsors of and/or sources of funding for the travel.
    Pursuant to House Rule XI, clause 3(a)(3) and Committee 
Rules 7(d) and 28, the Committee voted on July 29, 2015, to 
refer to the DOJ, for further action as it deemed necessary, 
the conduct by the private trip sponsors detailed in the 
Committee's Report. Pursuant to House Rule XI, clause 3(r), the 
Committee also voted to publicly release the OCE Reports as 
required under the cease-and-refer procedure. Because those 
rules only required the Committee to release the OCE Reports, 
and not the materials OCE characterized as ``Findings,'' the 
Committee decided to withhold public release of any other 
materials to avoid interfering with any future investigation by 
the DOJ into possible criminal misconduct by the non-profit 
sponsors and related individuals and entities outside the 
House.\28\ The Committee notes that DOJ has previously 
prosecuted individuals referred to it by the Committee 
following a Committee investigation.\29\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \28\Despite these considerations, on September 25, 2015, the OCE 
voted to publicly release the OCE's Reports and the materials it 
characterized as ``Findings'' in this matter. The Board stated that its 
action was done ``pursuant to House Resolution 895 of the 110th 
Congress Sec. 1(f)(1)(B) (2008), which provides that the Board may 
release `any communication' pursuant to its rules or as `necessary to 
conduct official business.'''
    \29\See House Comm. on Ethics, In the Matter of the Investigation 
into Officially Connected Travel of House Members to Attend the Carib 
News Foundation Multinational Business Conferences in 2007 and 2008, H. 
Rept. 111-422, 111th Cong. 2d Sess. (2010).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On July 31, 2015, the Committee submitted a Report to the 
House describing the facts and its findings in this matter, as 
well as its determination to take no further action in this 
matter.\30\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \30\House Comm. on Ethics, In the Matter of Officially-Connected 
Travel by House Members to Azerbaijan in 2013, H. Rept. 114-239, 114th 
Cong. 1st Sess. (2015).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

In the Matter of Allegations related to Representative Robert Pittenger

    On November 18, 2015, the Committee unanimously voted to 
empanel an ISC with jurisdiction to determine whether 
Representative Pittenger violated the Code of Official Conduct 
or any law, rule, regulation, or other applicable standard of 
conduct in the performance of his duties or the discharge of 
his responsibilities, with respect to allegations that he 
received compensation for his involvement with a fiduciary 
business, a real estate investment firm known as Pittenger Land 
Investments, Inc. The Committee, following precedent, 
unanimously recommended to the ISC that it defer action on its 
investigation at that time in response to a request from DOJ.
    At the conclusion of the 114th Congress, the Committee 
continues to defer its investigation of this matter, at the 
request of DOJ. Representative Pittenger was reelected to the 
House for the 115th Congress.

In the Matter of Allegations related to Representative Jared Polis

    On October 30, 2015, the OCE forwarded to the Committee a 
Report and Findings in which it recommended further review of 
allegations that Representative Jared Polis may have violated 
House rules, laws, and other standards of conduct by engaging 
in activities that could be perceived as endorsements of a 
video game company and a menswear company, and by using 
official resources to promote the businesses.
    The Committee investigated the allegations and concluded 
that Representative Polis' participation in a video produced by 
a video game company and a clothing event with a menswear 
company did not violate any law or House rules regarding 
official endorsements or the use of official resources for the 
promotion of a business endeavor. Accordingly, the Committee 
unanimously voted to dismiss the matter and to take no further 
action.
    On December 15, 2015, the Committee submitted a Report to 
the House of Representatives describing the facts and its 
findings in this matter, as well as its determination to take 
no further action in this matter.\31\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \31\House Comm. on Ethics, In the Matter of Allegations Relating to 
Representative Jared Polis, H. Rept. 114-381, 114th Cong. 1st Sess. 
(2015).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

In the Matter of Allegations related to Representative Bobby Rush

    On June 10, 2014, the OCE forwarded to the Committee a 
Report and Findings in which it recommended further review of 
allegations that Representative Bobby Rush received unpaid 
usage of office space. The Committee released the OCE Report 
and Findings, along with Representative Rush's response, on 
November 10, 2014, and noted in a public statement that the 
Committee was continuing to review the allegations pursuant to 
Committee Rule 18(a).
    As of the conclusion of the 114th Congress, the Committee 
had not completed its investigation into this matter. 
Representative Rush was reelected to the House for the 115th 
Congress.

In the Matter of Allegations related to Representative Aaron Schock

    On August 30, 2012, the OCE forwarded to the Committee a 
Report and Findings in which it recommended further review of 
allegations that Representative Aaron Schock may have solicited 
contributions for an independent expenditure-only political 
committee in excess of $5,000 per donor, in violation of 52 
U.S.C. Sec. 30125(e), House Rule XXIII, clause 1, and the Code 
of Ethics for Government Service. The Committee released the 
OCE Report and Findings, along with Representative Schock's 
response, on February 6, 2013, and noted in a public statement 
that the Committee was continuing to review the allegations 
pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a).
    On March 17, 2015, Representative Schock announced that he 
was resigning from the House, effective March 31, 2015. On the 
date of Representative Schock's resignation, the Committee's 
jurisdiction to continue its investigation of Representative 
Schock ended.
    On November 10, 2016, the U.S. Attorney for the Central 
District of Illinois filed an indictment against former 
Representative Schock in federal district court, charging him 
with mail and wire fraud, theft of government funds, making 
false statements, falsifying FEC filings, and filing false 
federal tax returns. Proceedings in that matter are pending in 
federal court.

In the Matter of Allegations related to Representative Marlin Stutzman

    On August 31, 2016, the OCE forwarded to the Committee a 
Report and Findings in which it recommended further review of 
allegations that Representative Marlin Stutzman may have used 
campaign funds for personal purposes for a trip to California 
with his family in violation of 52 U.S.C. Sec. 30114(b)(1) and 
House Rule XXIII, clauses 6(b) and (c). The Committee released 
the OCE Report and Findings, along with Representative 
Stutzman's response, on November 29, 2016, and noted in a 
public statement that the Committee was continuing to review 
the allegations pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a).
    Representative Stutzman did not run for reelection to the 
House for the 115th Congress, and the Committee will not have 
jurisdiction over him after January 3, 2017.

In the Matter of Allegations related to Representative Ed Whitfield

    On June 10, 2014, the OCE forwarded to the Committee in the 
113th Congress a Report and Findings in which it recommended 
further review of allegations that Representative Whitfield 
violated House Rule XXV, clause 7, by failing to prohibit 
lobbying contacts between his staff and his wife, who was then 
a registered lobbyist, and that he dispensed special favors or 
privileges to either his wife or her employers, the Humane 
Society of the United States or the Humane Society Legislative 
Fund. The Committee released the OCE Report and Findings, along 
with Representative Whitfield's response, on November 10, 2014, 
and noted in a public statement that the Committee was 
continuing to review the allegations pursuant to Committee Rule 
18(a).
    On March 25, 2015, based on the results of the 18(a) 
investigation, the Committee unanimously voted to empanel an 
ISC to continue to investigate the allegations in the OCE 
referral. Over a thirteen month period, the ISC interviewed 11 
witnesses, including Representative Whitfield and his wife, and 
reviewed over 140,000 pages of documents, including 
Representative Whitfield's own submissions regarding the 
allegations in this matter.
    On April 20, 2016, the ISC voted to adopt a Report, finding 
that Representative Whitfield had violated the House Rule 
concerning lobbying contacts between a Member's spouse and his 
staff, as well as rules regarding the dispensation of special 
privileges. Though the ISC found that these violations were not 
intentional, it nonetheless found that Representative Whitfield 
failed to comprehend the importance of setting boundaries and 
limits on the interactions between his wife and his staff, and 
thus failed to take proper precautions to avoid either improper 
interactions or the appearance of impropriety. The ISC's Report 
recommended that the Committee reprove Representative Whitfield 
for such conduct, pursuant to House Rule XI, clause 3(a)(2).
    Pursuant to House Rule XI, clause 3(a)(2), the Committee 
provided Representative Whitfield with copy of the ISC Report 
on April 29, 2016, and offered him an opportunity to be heard 
by the full Committee. Following Representative Whitfield's 
appearance, and after further consideration of Representative 
Whitfield's views and prior written submissions, the ISC 
unanimously agreed to make minor revisions to its Report, but 
still concluded that the violations were significant and 
numerous enough to warrant reproval by the Committee. On July 
6, 2016, the ISC transmitted its revised Report to the 
Committee.
    On July 12, 2016, the Committee considered the ISC's Report 
and, agreeing with its findings and recommendations, voted 
unanimously to release its own Report, finding that 
Representative Whitfield violated House Rule XXV, clause 7, the 
Code of Ethics for Government Service, section 5, and House 
Rule XXIII, clauses 1 and 2.
    On July 14, 2016, the Committee submitted a Report to the 
House of Representatives describing the facts and its findings 
in this matter, and adopting the ISC's Report, which served as 
a reproval of Representative Whitfield.\32\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \32\House Comm. on Ethics, In the Matter of Allegations Relating to 
Representative Ed Whitfield, H. Rept. 114-687, 114th Cong. 2d Sess. 
(2016).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

In the Matter of Allegations related to Representative Roger Williams

    On May 13, 2016, the OCE forwarded to the Committee a 
Report and Findings in which it recommended further review of 
allegations that Representative Roger Williams may have taken 
an official action on a matter affecting his personal financial 
interest in an automobile dealership, by offering an amendment 
to certain surface transportation reauthorization legislation 
in the 114th Congress, in violation of House Rule III, clause 
1, House Rule XXIII, clause 3, and Section 5 of the Code of 
Ethics for Government Service. The Committee released the OCE 
Report and Findings, along with Representative Williams' 
response, on August 11, 2016, and noted in a public statement 
that the Committee was continuing to review the allegations 
pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a).
    As of the conclusion of the 114th Congress, the Committee 
had not completed its investigation into this matter. 
Representative Williams was reelected to the House for the 
115th Congress.

Other Committee investigative actions

    In addition to the publicly disclosed matters discussed in 
this Report, the Committee either commenced review of, or 
continued to review from the 113th Congress, 50 investigative 
matters. Of these 50 matters which remain confidential, 40 were 
resolved in the 114th Congress.


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