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Ethics Committee Confirms Massa Investigation

The House ethics committee confirmed Thursday that it is investigating unspecified allegations against Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.).

The Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, also known as the ethics committee, issued a brief statement but did not detail its investigation.

Massa is battling accusations that he sexually harassed a male staff member — a charge that the ethics committee is reviewing. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) revealed Wednesday night that his office was informed of the allegations the week of Feb. 8. Hoyer instructed staff that if Massa didn’t report the allegations to the ethics committee within 48 hours, he would do so himself, his spokeswoman said in a statement.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said earlier Thursday that she learned Wednesday of the misconduct allegations, although her staff had learned of it earlier and decided against briefing her.

“There had been a rumor, but just that,” Pelosi told reporters Thursday at her weekly news conference. “A one-, two-, three-person rumor that had been reported to Mr. Hoyer’s office and reported to my staff, which they did not report to me because, you know what, this is rumor city. There are rumors. I have a job to do, and I’ve been doing just that.”

Massa announced Wednesday that he would not be seeking re-election, pointing to a recent cancer diagnosis. He denied the move resulted from any charges of ethical wrongdoing.

Tory Newmyer contributed to this report.

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