Morning Business: Jury Duty

Posted March 3, 2009 at 6:35pm

House leaders announced Tuesday the pool of Democratic and Republican lawmakers whom the ethics committee may call on to carry out investigations in the 111th Congress.

[IMGCAP(1)]Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) tapped GOP Reps. Rob Bishop (Utah), Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), Ander Crenshaw (Fla.), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (Fla.), Tom Latham (Iowa), Frank Lucas (Okla.), Sue Myrick (N.C.), Mike Simpson (Idaho) and Greg Walden (Ore.).

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) picked Democratic Reps. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), Russ Carnahan (Mo.), Emanuel Cleaver (Mo.), Susan Davis (Calif.), Keith Ellison (Minn.), Charlie Gonzalez (Texas), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii) and Brad Miller (N.C.).

Under House rules, each party is required to appoint 10 Members — in addition to the 10 who serve on the committee — each Congress to serve on any investigation subcommittees convened by the ethics panel.

Earlier this year, House leaders announced Reps. Doc Hastings (R-Wash,), Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and Gene Green (D-Texas) would be eligible for the assignment. They, along with ethics ranking member Jo Bonner (R-Ala.), comprise the subcommittee charged with investigating Rep. Charlie Rangel’s (D-N.Y.) fundraising efforts on behalf of New York City College.

Cooley Pleads Not Guilty. Former Rep. Wes Cooley (R-Ore.) pleaded not guilty Monday to charges that he was part of a Web site scam that cheated investors out of more than $10 million, the Associated Press reported.

An indictment filed in January alleges that after he left Congress, Cooley participated in a scam to sell stock in an Internet auction company that he and his partners falsely claimed was going to be bought by eBay. The indictment claims that the group raised more than $10 million and that “Cooley [received] over $1.1 million of investor funds for his own personal use.—

The Justice Department also alleges that Cooley tried to hide his proceeds by laundering money, transferring thousands of dollars through accounts in the names of his wife and other third parties.