Policy

Ethics Committee to Investigate Schweikert and Chief Over Finances

Arizona Republicans says there was a “clerical screw-up”

Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., is facing a House investigation into possible violations of campaign finance and congressional funds laws. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Ethics Committee has established an investigative subcommittee to discover whether Arizona Republican Rep. David Schweikert and his chief of staff, Oliver Schwab, violated multiple campaign finance and official congressional funds laws.

Committee members unanimously voted to continue the investigation, which Texas GOP Rep. John Ratcliffe will lead.

Reps. Rodney Davis, an Illinois Republican, and Hakeem Jeffries, a New York Democrat, will round out the investigative subcommittee.

Schweikert told Fox News reporter Chad Pergram that he asked the committee for the probe. Some monies were mislabeled, he said.

“This was a clerical screw-up,” he told Pergram. “It’s my fault. Our fault. We should have caught it.”

The subcommittee will seek to determine whether:

  • “[Schweikert and Schwab] may have used or authorized expenditures from [Schweikert’s] Members’ Representational Allowance for impermissible purposes;
  • “[Schweikert’s] campaign committees may have received improper campaign contributions from [Schwab] and other individuals employed in his congressional office;
  • “[Schwab] may have received income in excess of the outside earned income limit for senior staff;
  • “And [Schwab] may have failed to file full and complete financial disclosure statements in violation of House Rules, law, regulations, or other standards of conduct.”

A request for review filed with the Office of Congressional Ethics in February claimed Schwab, who has worked in Schweikert’s office since 2011, was running a consulting firm to help his boss’ campaign and that Schwab raked in $148,315 in consulting fees and an additional $57,946 in travel fees since 2014 through that firm.

Federal Election Commission records show that in 2014, Schwab’s firm, Chartwell Associates, brought in $109,500 from his boss’ campaign committees — more than quadrupling the $26,955 ceiling on outside income that senior staffers can earn.

Chartwell is a one-man shop, Schwab told the Washington Examiner in November.

“Anytime you see Chartwell, that’s Oliver Schwab,” he said at the time.

Schwab has reimbursed Schweikert’s campaign committees $50,000 over the course of nine payments this year, amid the inquiries into his outside income, FEC records show.

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