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Ethics Extends Vern Buchanan Investigation

The House Ethics Committee today said it was continuing a probe involving Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) by another 45 days.

“The Committee will announce its course of action in this matter on or before Monday, February 6, 2012,” the panel said in a release.

The matter was “transmitted to the Committee by the Office of Congressional Ethics on November 8, 2011,” the release said.

Details of the inquiry have not been made public, in accordance with committee rules.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has accused Buchanan of orchestrating “an elaborate scheme that forced his employees to contribute to his campaign, ensuring they would be illegally reimbursed with corporate money. Doubling down on the criminal behavior, he attempted to bribe a former business partner with almost $3 million in hush money in a clumsy attempt to cover up the conspiracy.”

CREW in August asked the committee to conduct an inquiry and also wrote to the FBI.

A spokesman for Buchanan said the notice was routine.

“The release issued by the House Ethics Committee today is a routine notification,” Buchanan spokesman Max Goodman said. “We are constructively engaged with the House Ethics Committee and are confident that the Committee will dismiss this matter. Because of the confidential nature of these proceedings, we can have no further comment at this time.”

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