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House expands ethics investigation into Arizona Rep. David Schweikert

(Cronkite News Photo/Katie Bieri)

PHOENIX – The House Ethics Committee announced Thursday it was expanding its investigation into potential violations by Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona.

In June, the committee established a probe to determine whether the Republican and/or his former chief of staff, Oliver Schwab, misused office funds and received improper campaign contributions.

The investigation found additional potential improprieties that the committee unanimously voted to examine.

In announcing the expansion of the probe, the committee cited four new allegations:

  • Schweikert may have used official resources to benefit his campaign or pressured congressional staff to perform political activity.
  • He may have authorized compensation to an employee who did not perform duties commensurate with his House employment.
  • The congressman or his campaign committee may have received loans or gifts from a congressional employee.
  • He may have omitted required information from his annual House financial disclosure statements and Federal Election Commission candidate committee reports.

A spokesperson for Schweikert told Politico on Thursday “we look forward to providing any information necessary to the Ethics Committee to resolve this matter.”

The initial investigation, which was launched after a referral from the independent Office of Congressional Ethics, focused on whether Schweikert or Schwab used his office’s allowance funds for impermissible expenditures.

It also was looking at whether Schweikert’s campaign committee received improper contributions from Schwab and other employees.

Schwab was also under scrutiny for allegedly receiving outside income in excess of set limits and failure to file complete financial disclosure records.

At the time, Schweikert told a Fox News reporter he asked for the probe and said the issues resulted from “a clerical screw-up.”

According to Politico, the ethics concerns surrounding Schweikert are related to tens of thousands of dollars paid to a consulting firm owned by Schwab.

Schwab resigned in July after seven years as Schweikert’s chief of staff.

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