The Washington Post published a blockbuster story this morning discussing the details of an internal document from the House Ethics Committee that was inadvertently released by a low level Committee staffer. The document discusses dozens House Ethics Committee inquiries concerning the activities of Members of Congress and staff. The article states:
The 22-page “Committee on Standards Weekly Summary Report” gives brief summaries of ethics panel investigations of the conduct of 19 lawmakers and a few staff members. It also outlines the work of the new Office of Congressional Ethics, a quasi-independent body that initiates investigations and provides recommendations to the ethics committee. The document indicated that the office was reviewing the activities of 14 other lawmakers. Some were under review by both ethics bodies.
Representative Zoe Lofgren, Chairman of the Committee, interrupted House floor proceedings to announce the inadvertent disclosure of the document.
House Ethics Committee proceedings and investigations are confidential. This disclosure could have far reaching implications for the investigations discussed in the document and on the re-election campaigns of the Members. However, it is important to remember that some of the Members and staff mentioned in the document may not be the subject of an investigation. They may be mentioned in the document because the Committee is reviewing fact finding travel plans or other matters where the Member or staff may seek the prior approval of the Committee.
The Washington Post article can be found here.
The statement on the disclosure from the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee can be found here.
Other press entities have also written on the story:
UPDATE: The Hill just published a story discussing the statements released by the pro-regulation groups in response to the House Ethics Committee’s statements about the Office of Congressional Ethics. I am confident there will be more developments on this story. I will post them as they occur.