Uh-oh: House Ethics Committee widens investigation of Vern Buchanan


The House Ethics Committee announced it is broadening an existing review of Rep.Vern Buchanan to include a new allegation, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Ethics investigators said Wednesday that they will look into a charge that Mr. Buchanan sought false testimony from a key witness in a case against the lawmaker. At issue is an increasingly complicated probe into Mr. Buchanan that turns on the question: Did Mr. Buchanan direct (or know about) reimbursements to former employees for campaign contributions they made to Mr. Buchanan when he first ran for Congress? At the time, Mr. Buchanan ran a string of car dealerships in Florida

It is a violation of election law to reimburse people for campaign donations. There are several investigative bodies looking into overlapping aspects of the allegation.

Earlier this year, the House Ethics Committee said it would look into charges that Mr. Buchanan made mistakes in his annual personal financial-disclosure statements by failing to report positions and income from board service.

Mr. Buchanan has since amended his financial disclosure reports to include the income and board positions.

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