Aug 01, 2012
Republicans’ NRCC Finance Chairman Wanted
House Republicans including Republican Leader Eric Cantor were just served “Wanted and Under Deposition” flyers that highlighted that the “federal investigations underway could result in Buchanan serving his next term behind bars” according to CNN. This week, Congressman Vern Buchanan is wanted back in Florida after cancelling his testimony under oath in a lawsuit involving “his former business partner who alleges Buchanan was the architect of a plan to violate federal elections laws” according to WTSP. The NRCC Finance Chairman could face a contempt charge for being a no-show at his court ordered deposition.
Congressman Buchanan faces ongoing investigations by the FBI, IRS, and a federal grand jury for his roles in a scheme to funnel money from his corporations into his campaign coffers and tax evasion. In addition, the House Ethics Committee is still investigating Congressman Buchanan for bribing his business partner with a $2.9 million settlement in return for lying about Buchanan's role in the illegal fundraising scheme.
10 News Investigators: Congressman Vern Buchanan could face contempt charge for "no-show" at deposition. “Sarasota Congressman Vern Buchanan may be facing more legal problems after he failed to show up for a court ordered deposition Monday. Attorney Robert Stok, who represents the man suing Buchanan, says he will file contempt charges against the congressman and ask that he be put in jail. Buchanan is being sued by a former partner who says the congressman used him to make illegal campaign contributions. Buchanan was supposed to be deposed under oath, but was a no-show.” [WTSP, 7/31/12]
House Ethics Considering “Whether Buchanan Violated Federal Bribery, Obstruction and Witness Tampering Laws.” According to the New York Times, “congressional ethics investigators concluded in a report released Wednesday that Representative Vern Buchanan, a Florida lawmaker who leads House Republican fund-raising operations nationwide, appeared to have tried to illegally influence the testimony of an ex-business partner regarding allegations of campaign finance violations in his own race.” The Bradenton Herald reported that the House Ethics Committee is considering “whether Buchanan violated federal bribery, obstruction and witness tampering laws -- all of which have criminal penalties.” [New York Times, 5/10/12; Bradenton Herald, 5/9/12]
Buchanan Is Under Investigation by the FBI, IRS, and a Federal Grand Jury. “Federal inquiries surrounding Mr. Buchanan appear to be widening, as investigators examine allegations that his companies improperly reimbursed contributors to his campaigns and claimed improper tax deductions and that he failed to include all his varied financial interests in his Congressional disclosure reports […] agents for the F.B.I. and the Internal Revenue Service recently contacted former employees alleging financial improprieties by Mr. Buchanan, who owns a number of auto dealerships throughout Florida and elsewhere and is one of the richest members of Congress. A federal grand jury in Tampa is hearing evidence in the case as well.” [New York Times, 2/24/12]
GOP Leaders Gave $60,000 to Support Buchanan’s Reelection Last Quarter.“Newly released campaign finance reports show that the top GOP leaders, including Boehner, gave U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, $60,000 over the last three months through their own campaign accounts or political action committees they run. That includes $5,000 from the National Republican Congressional Committee, on which Buchanan serves as fundraising chairman. Besides Boehner, R-Ohio, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., donated to Buchanan.” [Herald-Tribune, 7/27/12]
Eric Cantor Pledged Zero-Tolerance on Ethics Violations. “I think that as Republicans emerge as a new governing majority, it is incumbent upon us to institute a zero-tolerance policy — that we understand there are reasons for our being fired in ‘06 and ’08. […] We cannot tolerate any ethics violations or behavior in terms of compromising the ethics that the people expect us to have as their representatives.” [YouTube, uploaded 8/10/10]
New York Times: Boehner to Stand By His Fund-Raiser. “Speaker John A. Boehner has not said much publicly about the ethics issues swirling around Representative Vern Buchanan of Florida, the embattled chief fund-raiser for House Republican candidates, but Mr. Boehner will standing by Mr. Buchanan’s side at a pricey fund-raising event in Sarasota this weekend. Mr. Boehner, who vowed to take a hard line on ethical transgressions as speaker, is scheduled to be the guest of honor at Saturday night’s fund-raiser at a private residence in Mr. Buchanan’s district [...] [A] spokesman for Mr. Boehner, said in a statement later Tuesday that the speaker ‘appreciates Congressman Buchanan’s hard work on behalf of the N.R.C.C. to ensure Republican members and candidates have the needed tools to compete and win in November. We’re glad he’s able to join us this Saturday.’” [New York Times, 2/28/12]