Ethics Panel Interviews Pelosi Aides in Massa Investigation

Posted April 21, 2010 at 4:38pm

The House ethics committee has interviewed aides to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in its ongoing investigation tied to ex-Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.), a spokesman said Wednesday.

“The Speaker has made herself available to meet with the Ethics committee at their earliest convenience. Members of our staff have met with and fully cooperated with the Ethics committee,” spokesman Nadeam Elshami said.

The House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, commonly called the ethics committee, voted Wednesday to establish an investigative subcommittee, acknowledging the possibility that Members or House aides may have failed to report the accusations.

“The allegations surrounding former Representative Massa are serious and warrant a full and complete investigation,” Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and ranking member Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) said in a joint statement.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) was also interviewed Wednesday in connection to the investigation, according to a Democratic source.

Aides to both Hoyer and Pelosi were interviewed prior to the subcommittee’s announcement Wednesday.

Lofgren and Bonner will chair the subcommittee. Reps. Ben Chandler (D-Ky.) and Mike Conaway (R-Texas) will also serve on the panel.

The House ethics committee had announced an inquiry focused on Massa’s office in March but had not established an investigative subcommittee.

The New York lawmaker resigned from the House in March in the wake of allegations that he sexually harassed members of his staff.

Massa subsequently denied any wrongdoing during television and radio interviews but admitted to using “salty language” and engaging in improper physical contact with his staff.