The House Ethics Committee voted unanimously Thursday to expand the scope of their inquiry into Rep. David Schweikert to include allegations that he may have used official resources to benefit his campaign and omitted required information from his annual House financial disclosure statements and Federal Election Commission candidate committee reports.
The committee impaneled an investigative subcommittee in June to examine Schweikert and Oliver Schwab, his chief of staff. Schwab was allegedly been paid by the Arizona Republican’s campaign beyond the limit for outside earned income for senior congressional staffers. Schwab announced his resignation in July, saying he was having surgery and will work as a U.S. Coast Guard-licensed maritime captain.
In October, Schwab instead moved to lobbying. He become executive vice president for public policy at Virtua Partners and started a new new strategic consulting firm, Sounding Partners.
The expansion of the subcommittee’s investigation also includes allegations that Schweikert pressured congressional staff to perform political activities and “authorized compensation to an employee who did not perform duties commensurate with his House employment,” which is what the committee has used to refer to off-the-books settlements settlements in the past.
The subcommittee will also be looking into if Schweikert or his campaign committee may have received loans or gifts from a congressional employee.
On September 5, the Office of Congressional Ethics sent an additional referral to the House Ethics Committee regarding Schweikert. The committee’s vote to expand their inquiry is a response to new issues raised in the OCE’s latest transmission.