Democrats have been having a rough time lately as the phony Russia collusion narrative crumbles (with a little help from noted fake news purveyor CNN) while some of the party’s most venerated officials are facing allegations of misconduct – be it for colluding with the Clinton campaign (Loretta Lynch) or for allegedly submitting a fraudulent loan application and improperly pressuring a regional lender (Bernie and Jane Sanders).
Add to that list Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) who as the Hill reports are facing possible ethics infractions and will appear before a panel at the recommendation of the Office of Congressional Ethics. The OCE is an independent, bipartisan group that examines ethics complaints and forwards what it considers the most serious cases to the Ethics Committee.
John Conyers (D-Mich)
While the ethics charges are less serious than the Senate probe into Lynch or the FBI investigation into the Sanderses, they represent another black eye for Democrats, whose unceasing criticisms of President Donald Trump’s purported “business conflicts” have now been exposed as unvarnished hypocrisy.
In addition to Conyers and Lujan, Michael Collins, chief of staff to Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), is also under review, the House panel announced.
While the ethics committee wouldn’t reveal the exact nature of the allegations, the Hill has a few ideas.
“As is typically the case, the Ethics Committee did not specify the allegations surrounding the three Democrats. But Luján has been the subject of complaints filed by the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), a conservative watchdog group, alleging the DCCC chairman violated ethics rules by soliciting campaign donations following the Democrats’ sit-in on the House floor in June 2016 to protest Republican inaction on gun reform."
“They protested for TWENTY-SIX LONG HOURS, but Republicans refused to lift a finger,” read one DCCC solicitation at the time. “We need to get 21,673 more gifts in the door today to kick them out of office.”
As for Collins? He appears to have violated rules regarding Congressional staffers seeking outside employment.
“In January, FACT filed a separate complaint against Lewis and Collins, alleging that Collins’s role as both Lewis’s chief of staff and campaign treasurer violated rules limiting outside employment by House staffers.
“Even in the limited instances where outside employment is allowed, the amount that can be earned is capped at $27,255,” FACT said at the time. “In this case, Collins was earning $27,495 as Lewis’ campaign treasurer, a prohibited salary for a prohibited position.”
Conyers is suspected of continuing to pay a former staffer even though she no longer worked for him.
"Conyers’s office has been under OCE review over the last year surrounding allegations that a former staffer, Cynthia Martin, may have been paid during months when she was no longer employed by the office. In February, the OCE recommended that the Ethics Committee review whether Martin “accepted compensation that was not commensurate with the work she was performing.”
Each of the individuals involved told the Hill that they were cooperating with investigators and hoped to swiftly resolve the issue. Now, as we await the next step in this process, we can only hope that Maxine Waters, who liberals have hailed as a champion of the resistance despite her history of apparent conflicts and self-dealing, will be next.