Another week, more brutal headlines for scandal-ridden GOP Congressman David Schweikert.
If the last few days are any indication, the ethics investigations dogging Congressman Schweikert isn’t going away anytime soon – in fact, they’re escalating. On Wednesday, the nonpartisan Office of Congressional Ethics released a 424-page report detailing rampant corruption and misuse of taxpayer dollars throughout Schweikert’s office, directly contradicting Schweikert’s repeated claims that the charges against him were nothing but “bookkeeping” errors.
Here’s what they’re saying:
By Holliday Moore, Steve Goldstein
A 424-page report on Arizona Congressman David Schweikert was released this week supporting charges of ethics violations within his D.C. office.
…This week, the board voted unanimously to publish the findings after concluding Schwab violated multiple ethics rules. This included making impermissible contributions to his boss, using funds to pay for a personal trip to the Super Bowl in Arizona and allowing himself and his wife to earn $60,000 beyond the income limit allowed for senior House staff.
The committee says neither Schweikert or Schwab cooperated with the investigation.
By Ronald J. Hansen
Rep. David Schweikert presided over a slipshod office operation with financial oversight so weak that his former chief of staff managed to take home improper, extra pay that violated House ethics rules for years, a newly released investigation found.
…Neither Schwab nor Schweikert cooperated with the probe, the report by the Office of Congressional Ethics said.
…The report is at odds with Schweikert’s efforts since late 2017 to cast the issues as accounting discrepancies.
…The report also suggested the line between the Schweikert campaign and his congressional office blurred in other ways.
Another unnamed former Schweikert staffer who cooperated, a legislative director, told investigators they routinely briefed Schweikert on issues ahead of meetings with prospective donors. The former staffer estimated it could have been about 20 percent of official work time in election years.
HOST: Staying in Washington, the Office of Congressional Ethics criticizing one of our own, Arizona Congressman David Schweikert. It’s a 424-page report released Wednesday claiming Schweikert did not have a lot of financial oversight over his office, claims Schweikert’s former chief of staff violated House ethics rules by taking home extra pay for years, and that the two of them actually went to the Super Bowl in Glendale a couple of years ago at taxpayer expense… Come on, man.
JOHN BRESNAHAN: This is a serious investigation. This is a report, the report you’re referring to, was released by the Office of Congressional Ethics. That’s the independent ethics watchdog… if you go through this report it’s over 400 pages as you mentioned, it shows a real pattern of troubling behavior by Schweikert and his former chief of staff Oliver Schwab who is now gone from that office.
BRESNAHAN: All along Schweikert, he said to me and he said to the Arizona Republic and he said to other reporters who looked into this issue, that he’s happy for the ethics investigation, he welcomes it, he wanted it. But as OCE revealed yesterday in their report, Schweikert did not, nor his former chief of staff, did not comply with the OCE investigation. They asked him to supply documents and testimony, and he did not do that… This shows though, that Schweikert, you know, what he said publicly — that he welcomed the investigation – and what he did privately was something different.
BRESNAHAN: I do think that Schwiekert’s political standing has been seriously damaged by this and we can’t pre-judge what the Ethics Committee is going to say, but I do think Schweikert has a problem, it’s not going away, it’s not getting any better until Ethics rules one way or another.
By Chris Marquette
Rep. David Schweikert’s former chief of staff used official funds on a six-day trip to Arizona in which he attended Super Bowl XLIX; separately, he made impermissible contributions to his boss and received income beyond the House’s outside earned income limit for his position, according to a report made public Wednesday by the Office of Congressional Ethics.
…The OCE previously recommended the House Ethics Committee further review allegations regarding Schweikert because it said it had substantial reason to believe he authorized expenditures from his Members’ Representational Allowance made by or on behalf of Schwab that were not for permissible official expenses.
…OCE also said it had substantial reason to believe Schweikert failed to ensure that his campaign committee complied with applicable rules on contributions from congressional employees.