On Thursday, GOP Rep. David Schweikert reached a deal where he admitted to 11 rules violations and accepted a $50,000 fine.
GOP Member Gets Busted
This comes after a longstanding House Ethics committee against the politician. “Substantial evidence” was found by the committee which concluded the GOP member made several violations from 2010 all the way through 2018.
The Arizona Republican was accused of using evasion stalling tactics to try and avoid more serious charges, the AZ Central reports.
House Ethics Committee Reports Violations
According to the House Ethics committee, it found Schweikert was guilty of not disclosing loans and campaign contributions; using campaign money for personal purposes; wrongful spending by his office; and pressuring his staff to do political work.
Since 2017, the GOP politician has had criticism over what the investigation was looking into which is when allegations of improper spending first surfaced.
The proposed deal ends the investigation but the House of Representatives need to adopt a resolution before it is officially final.
Schweikert Speaks Out
A spokesman for Schweikert, Grace White, said he wanted to put the matter behind him and move forward.
“We are pleased the Committee has issued their report and we can move forward from this chapter. As noted in the review, all issues have been resolved and Congressman Schweikert will continue working hard for Arizona’s 6th District,” she said.
However, the GOP member did acknowledge faults when he responded to the Ethics Committee.
“I bear ultimate responsibility for ensuring that my congressional office and my campaign adhere to both the letter and spirit of the wide array of laws, rules, and regulations that govern our important work,” he told the committee.
The committee did not feel he was being very cooperative and the delays could have been a helpful technique for Schweikert.
“Throughout the course of this investigation, Representative Schweikert made vague or misleading statements to the (investigative subcommittee) and (the Office of Congressional Ethics) that allowed him to evade the statute of limitations for the most egregious violations of campaign finance laws, his document productions were slow or non-responsive to several of the ISC’s requests for information regarding (Federal Election Commission) errors, and he gave self-serving testimony that lacked candor,” the report said.
“Efforts like the ones Representative Schweikert undertook to delay and impede the ISC’s investigation were not only highly detrimental to the Committee’s work and reputation of the House, they were themselves sanctionable misconduct.”
Committee Makes This a Warning to Other GOP Members
The report basically made Schweikert out to be an example of what other GOP and other House members should avoid.
“While all of the violations detailed above were concerning, the Committee was disturbed by the events described in counts three and four … in particular. Those counts detailed how Representative Schweikert’s campaign committee falsely reported that he had loaned the campaign $100,000, when no such loan had been made, and then falsely reported making $100,000 in disbursements, which served to adjust the campaign’s reported cash on hand that was propped up by the fictitious loan,” the report said.
“These errors were not only flagrant and egregious violations of campaign finance law, the falsely reported loan improperly inflated his campaign’s finances, thus making Representative Schweikert’s campaign appear to meet its financial goals while depriving the public of accurate and transparent accounting of the true state of his campaign.”
As the investigation wrapped up, many Republican House members have not spoken about the incident.