Updated: 5:20 p.m.The Senate Ethics Committee earlier this month dismissed a complaint alleging Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) traded campaign donations for earmarks, according to a letter released Thursday.The ethics panel announced its decision in a letter to the Congressional watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which filed the complaint against Landrieu in January 2008.The Committee has evaluated carefully the allegations and information in your complaint, as well as other information, including information provided to the Committee by Senator Landrieu in response to your complaint, reads the Nov. 6 letter, signed by John Sassaman, the committees chief counsel and staff director. After considering all the information before it the Committee considers the matter to be resolved and intends no further action with respect to your complaint.In its complaint to the ethics panel, based on a report in the Washington Post, CREW asserted that Landrieu violated Senate rules by sponsoring a $2 million earmark to support the literacy program Voyager Expanded Learning in District of Columbia public schools. Landrieus campaign had earlier received $30,000 in campaign contributions from the companys executives and related individuals.At the time, Landrieu disputed the Posts reporting, and a spokesman for the Senator called the ethics complaint wholly without merit. Landrieu spokesman Aaron Saunders reiterated that sentiment Thursday and praised the committee's decision: The bipartisan Senate Ethics Committees thorough review of this matter confirms what Senator Landrieu knew all along the complaint was totally without merit."
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.