mike honda

An Ethics Probe That Never Ends

Honda's primary opponent has hit him on an ethics review that may or may not come to anything.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

More than a year ago, the Office of Congressional Ethics began investigating whether Rep. Michael M. Honda’s staff crossed congressional duties with campaign activities. The case was later referred to the House Committee on Ethics, which in September indicated it would take up the review indefinitely.  

That has left the California Democrat open to constant hammering from his primary opponent’s campaign, which is stating allegations as fact and pointing to the nearly $100,000 that Honda has spent defending himself.  

Ethics Probes Waiting for Resolution

There are 10 open cases being considered by the House Ethics Committee that have been made public. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

The House Ethics Committee acts confidentially and typically uses minimalist language to announce whether it is investigating a member of Congress. This makes tracking open cases difficult, but there are 10 cases the committee has previously stated it is reviewing. The committee has no rules compelling it to make a public announcement that a review has been closed, sometimes resulting in a delay in a case's resolution coming to light — though members certainly have an interest in publicizing something that reflects well on them.  

Boehner 'Comfortable' With House Ethics Protocols