Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C., has gone on the offensive as to whether or not he violated ethics rules, requesting Thursday that the House Ethics Committee investigate him.
The FBI and the IRS are currently investigating his former company, Pittenger Land Investment, according to local media reports, to determine whether Pittenger transferred money from the company to his congressional campaign in 2012. Pittenger contends he did nothing wrong, and he wants the Ethics Committee to prove it. “I have lived a life of integrity, personally, professionally, and in public service,” Pittenger said Thursday in a news release. “Regrettably, recent media reports have not conveyed accurate information regarding our activities.”
He later added, “My objective is to address these issues directly and confirm that I have always acted properly and in full respect for the law and House Ethics rules.”
The House Ethics Committee declined to comment on Pittenger’s request.
The committee has investigated members’ conduct at their request in the past. Last year, former Rep. Tom Petri, R-Wis., asked the committee to look into his conduct with a company in his district, and the committee did not find any wrongdoings .
But attempting to have the committee clear a lawmaker’s own name has also been known to backfire. Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., requested the committee look into ethics questions and, in 2010 the committee found 11 violations , which resulted in his censure in the House.
It is not clear how a federal investigation into Pittenger might affect whether the Ethics Committee will accept his request for an investigation. In the past, the committee has deferred investigation into a lawmaker at the request of law enforcement, as was the case with former Rep. Michael G. Grimm, R-N.Y .
Why Did Petri Ask to Be Investigated? | A Question of Ethics
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