Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) does not appear concerned about charges of ethics impropriety against freshman Rep. David Rivera (R-Fla.).
“As I understand the allegations against Mr. Rivera, they don’t involve any of his Congressional service,” Boehner said at a news conference Wednesday. “These are activities that [happened] before he was elected, and I think we need to see how this plays out.”
Boehner has previously said he would not tolerate any ethical lapses within the Republican Conference. He has also said any perceived improprieties would be dealt with case by case. Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has refused to respond to questions over Rivera’s situation.
Rivera is under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement over allegations that he failed to report receiving more than $130,000 in loans from a company owned by his mother. The Florida Republican has said he has since repaid the loans. However, there are at least two other ongoing investigations into his campaign records and finances.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee seized on Rivera’s troubles. DCCC spokesman Jesse Ferguson said that Rivera is covering up his activities.
“Apparently Speaker John Boehner thinks it’s ok for a Congressman to be under criminal investigation for ethics violations as long as the criminal activity happened before they were sworn in,” Ferguson said in a statement. “It seems clear that Republican Leaders like John Boehner and Eric Cantor didn’t really mean zero tolerance for growing criminal investigations into their own members like Congressman David Rivera. Now they’ll tolerate it, but just this once.”
Rivera’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., carries a musket on stage as he speaks during the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Md., on Thursday March 6, 2014.