House Ethics Committee Reviews Allegations That 2 Lawmakers Misused Campaign Funds

The Office of Congressional Ethics announced on June 24 that it has referred Reps. Wesley Hunt and Ronny Jackson to the House Ethics Committee.

The House Ethics Committee announced on June 24 it is reviewing allegations that Reps. Wesley Hunt (R-Texas) and Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) misused campaign funds, following a referral from the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), a nonpartisan entity established by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008.

Mr. Jackson’s campaign committee, Texans for Ronny Jackson, reported campaign funds not suitable for campaign purposes and therefore “may have violated House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law,” the OCE said in a statement.

The House Ethics Committee released findings that Mr. Jackson’s campaign committee had paid more than $6,800 in membership dues to The Amarillo Club, a social club in downtown Amarillo, Texas.

Mr. Jackson’s campaign had paid monthly dues of about $175 to The Amarillo Club since 2021. Starting in April last year, the campaign disclosed the monthly payments as “membership for exclusive campaign purposes,” according to the committee report.
The fine dining club and gym says on its website that its “members have created lasting bonds and a network of connections.”

The House Ethics manual instructs lawmakers not to use campaign funds for personal use, including to enhance their lifestyle or to pay personal obligations. However, it gives them wide discretion in determining what counts as a campaign or political expense.

A spokesperson for Mr. Jackson told The Epoch Times that the probe is a “waste” of “taxpayer dollars going after public servants for absolutely nothing.”

“This baseless complaint from OCE raises no new information, and despite over two years at the Committee on Ethics it is still being looked into. Once again, Congressman Jackson has nothing to hide, and he and his team have fully complied with the Ethics Committee since the beginning,” the spokesperson said.

Past Referral

In 2022, the OCE also referred Mr. Jackson to the House Ethics Committee for allegedly reporting “campaign disbursements that may not be legitimate and verifiable campaign expenditures attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes.”

The status of this investigation is publicly unknown.

The committees said that reviewing cases does not imply guilt.

Mr. Jackson has served in Congress since January 2021, prior to which he served as White House physician under Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

Regarding Mr. Hunt, the OCE said in a statement that his campaign committee, Hunt for Congress, reported campaign funds not suitable for campaign purposes and therefore “may have violated House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law.”

Mr. Hunt’s campaign had paid over $5,400 in dues to The Oak Room, a private dining club in Houston, according to the committee’s report.

The Epoch Times has reached out to Mr. Hunt’s office for comment.

Previously, Mr. Hunt’s spokesperson, Matthew Topolski, told The Epoch Times the congressman “has been in full cooperation with the House Ethics Committee and is extremely confident that the matter will be dismissed shortly.”

Mr. Hunt has been in Congress since January 2023.

The House Ethics Committee has an equal number of Republican and Democrat seats. It is chaired by Rep. Michael Guest (R-Miss.) while Rep. Susan Wild (D-Pa.) is the ranking member.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

Running For Office? Conservative Campaign Consulting – Election Day Strategies!