You remember Representative John Lewis of Georgia, the man who recently called President Donald Trump an illegitimate president, the ancient civil rights leader who’s integrity can never ever ever ever again be questioned, the man who never smiles for a picture? Well, it’s a new day and the congressman has some splainin’ to do.
(H/T: Conservative Tribune)
U.S. Rep. John Lewis, the 16-term Georgia Democrat who recently called President Donald Trump an “illegitimate president” and boycotted Trump’s inauguration, is in a bit of a fix, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
I’ll pause for a moment while we all celebrate poetic justice.
According to the complaint, which can be read here, Collins and Lewis violated House ethics rules because Collins served as treasurer for Lewis’ re-election campaign in 2015-16 while simultaneously running his congressional office.
House rules explicitly bar senior staffers from serving in a fiduciary role in any political organization, including campaigns, and the role of campaign treasurer itself is specifically forbidden. Senior staff “may not receive any compensation for either providing legal services to a political organization, or for serving as an officer (such as treasurer) of such an organization,” according to the House Ethics Manual, page 194.
Black and white. Clear as day. After 30 years in office — 30 years — Lewis certainly knows the rules.
An ethics investigation will find “a very clear violation of not only the letter but the spirit of the rules,” FACT executive director and former U.S. Attorney Matthew Whitaker told the Free Beacon.
To make matters worse, this is not the first time the two have played fast and loose with congressional ethics rules.
Collins is no stranger to the House Ethics Committee. In 2011, he was sanctioned for failing to disclose and pay taxes on $54,000 in income for working on Lewis’ campaigns from 2005 to 2010, according to Fox News. His excuse? He claimed he didn’t receive the 1099 forms.
“These mistakes were not intentional but were due to an inadvertent omission in disclosure,” he claimed at that time. Yep, I forget about an additional $54,000 all the time.
In June 2016, House Democrats staged a 26-hour sit-in on the House floor in an attempt to force a gun control vote. The problem? Lewis used it as a fundraiser, inviting both condemnation from House speaker Paul Ryan and another ethics complaint from FACT, according to The Atlantic Journal-Constitution.
“This type of behavior is precisely why the public distrusts elected officials,” that complaint stated.
The public has good reason to feel that way. And the public should be outraged.
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