As if this Congress, the least productive on record, didn’t have enough problems, it hasn’t been a sterling session for misbehaving House Republicans. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) threatened to kill a journalist and faces a 20-count criminal indictment. Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.) was forced to resign after getting arrested in a cocaine bust. Rep. Vance McAllister (R-La.) earned the unfortunate “kissing congressman” moniker.
Politico, which neglected to note that they all have a party affiliation in common, recently called them “the bad boys of Congress.”
There’s still room in this club, though, for another member. Roll Call reported overnight:
Outgoing Rep. Steve Stockman and three staffers in his Capitol Hill office have been served with grand jury subpoenas for testimony and documents in a criminal investigation in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.The Texas Republican – who has been under scrutiny for campaign contributions from his staff – hasn’t decided whether to cooperate. […]In a scathing report made public in June, the Office of Congressional Ethics said Stockman may have violated federal law and House rules when he accepted campaign donations from two of his congressional staffers, lied to investigators and attempted to impede their work. Stockman’s campaign falsely identified the donors as family members of the employees in subsequent campaign finance reports, the OCE found. The congressman later told OCE that the staffers resigned before making the contributions and were then re-hired, according to the report.
Note, the Ethics Committee’s interest in Stockman is poised to run its course. The right-wing congressman gave up his House seat to run a strange and unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign, and will leave Congress at the end of the term.
At that point, Stockman will no longer be the Ethics Committee’s problem. He will, however, still be subject to criminal prosecution.
All of this, by the way, comes a year after Houston Chronicle reported that Stockman “failed to make federally required disclosures” about his business affiliations. As we discussed at the time, Stockman initially failed to file his federal disclosure paperwork. When he eventually filed a bare-bones report several months late, it included $350,000 in salary and fees from an unexplained entity called “Presidential Trust Marketing.”
Making matters slightly worse, a specialist in government ethics discovered that Stockman’s forms exclude disclosures Stockman is required to make, including information on Stockman’s business relationships, bank accounts, and the value of his businesses.
This was itself a legitimate controversy, but the new subpoenas relate to separate allegations involving the congressman.
Michael Grimm is the only member of Congress this term to face a criminal indictment, but there’s still time for another.