Ethics Declines to Probe Lawmaker Arrests

Posted March 22, 2012 at 10:38am

The House Ethics Committee announced today that it met this week to consider the arrest of a group of lawmakers outside the Sudanese embassy last week and determined that no further investigation of the matter was needed.

Democratic Reps. Al Green (Texas), Jim McGovern (Mass.), Jim Moran (Va.) and John Olver (Mass.) — along with Hollywood heavyweight George Clooney and his father Nick — were arrested March 16 outside the Embassy of Sudan for crossing a police line. The lawmakers were protesting the country’s hunger crisis and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s role in blocking humanitarian aid. They each paid a $100 fine and their arrests are now resolved with local law enforcement, according to the Ethics Committee.

“The Committee considered the scope and nature of the conduct of Representatives Green, McGovern, Moran and Olver and determined that review by an investigative subcommittee is not required in this matter,” read the report submitted by Ethics Chairman Jo Bonner (R-Ala.).

The House Ethics Committee routinely reviews the arrests of Members for minor infractions such as civil disobedience, but rarely recommends further examination if the matter has been resolved. It made the same conclusion regarding the arrest of Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) for protesting the deportation of illegal immigrants outside of the White House in July.