Stories by Amanda Becker:
March 22, 2012
The House Ethics Committee announced today that it met this week to consider the arrest of a group of lawmakers outside the Sudanese embassy last week and determined that no further investigation of the matter was needed.
March 20, 2012
The outside attorney brought in to pick up the House Ethics Committees botched investigation of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) has left the law firm contracted by the committee and opened his own shop.
March 17, 2012
The release of a scathing report this week detailing widespread prosecutorial misconduct that botched the corruption trial of the late Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) has reignited calls to revisit the rules requiring government prosecutors to hand over evidence that could help exonerate criminal defendants.
March 15, 2012
A federal court today unsealed a special report describing the widespread misconduct that derailed the prosecution and corruption conviction of the late Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), over the objections of some of the prosecutors who handled the case.
March 14, 2012
Just four years after Congress created an outside office to speed up House ethics proceedings, the House Ethics Committee has begun using a pre-existing rule to extend its review of cases past the deadline set by those who developed the guidelines on how the two bodies should work in tandem.
March 7, 2012
Ohio Rep. Jean Schmidts unexpected primary loss serves as a warning for many Members seeking re-election on new turf after redistricting or facing even the smallest political challenge. More importantly, Schmidts loss signals a still-unsettled electorate looking for a reason to boot an incumbent from office.
March 2, 2012
Despite amended ethics rules, Members of Congress and their staffers continue to take trips sponsored by groups that dont lobby themselves but maintain formal affiliations with lobbyists and advocacy organizations and do so with the blessing of the House Ethics Committee.
Feb. 17, 2012
Rep. Spencer Bachus established a trust account earlier this week to pay for his legal fees, indicating that the Alabama Republican is preparing for what could be a protracted ethics probe.
Feb. 17, 2012
The House Ethics Committee announced today that six committee members have voluntary recused themselves from the matter involving Rep. Maxine Waters and that six alternates have been appointed to hear the California Democrats case.
Feb. 14, 2012
The campaign accounts of Reps. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) and Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) paid tens of thousands of dollars when the lawmakers were investigated and cleared by the Office of Congressional Ethics last year.
Feb. 13, 2012
In recent years, lawmakers and staffers invited to the Consumer Electronics Show were largely forced to limit their Las Vegas fun to one day. But thanks to loopholes, about a dozen Members and staffers converted this years convention into a four-day junket.
Feb. 10, 2012
Just hours after the House passed its version of a bill intended to curb Congressional insider trading, Rep. Spencer Bachus office confirmed reports late Thursday that the Office of Congressional Ethics has launched an inquiry into whether the Alabama Republican violated existing insider-trading laws and House rules.
Feb. 8, 2012
Differences between the Senate and House versions of legislation banning insider trading by Members and staff have experts worried about what provisions will make the final cut as the two chambers rush to pass the bill and claim the ethical high ground.
Feb. 6, 2012
The House Ethics Committee announced today that while it will continue investigating whether Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) failed to report positions and income from outside organizations on his annual financial disclosure reports, it will do so without forming a formal investigative subcommittee.
Feb. 2, 2012
The House and Senate Ethics committees released an accounting of their 2011 activities this week, detailing the number of matters reviewed and the actions taken thus far during the 112th Congress.
Jan. 31, 2012
Travel expenses detailed in a recent campaign finance report filed by Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.s (D-Ill.) re-election committee demonstrate the overlapping rules that cover privately financed but officially connected Congressional travel.
Jan. 25, 2012
The top Democrat on the House panel investigating whether the failed mortgage giant Countrywide gave lawmakers preferential treatment blasted committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) today for trying to keep their names quiet.
Jan. 24, 2012
The Office of Congressional Ethics lost no steam at the end of last year, reviewing four new matters during the fourth quarter of 2011. In prior years the number of cases opened during the same period had dwindled.
Jan. 24, 2012
Mitt Romney this morning released his personal tax returns, revealing an income of $21.6 million in 2010 and $20.9 million in 2011, nearly all stemming from the his vast portfolio of investments.
Jan. 19, 2012
With two formal probes under way, an outside attorney looking at whether the committee botched its investigation of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and three ongoing examinations of Members who have been neither cleared nor sanctioned, the House Ethics Committee is poised to begin 2012 with a bigger bang than it did the year before.
Jan. 17, 2012
When Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) started his investigation into a controversial "VIP" mortgage program, he struck partisan gold by tying two powerful Senate Democratic chairmen to mortgage giant Countrywide's alleged attempts to give preferential treatment to influential policymakers.
Jan. 17, 2012
House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa said today he will continue pursuing an investigation involving lawmakers tied to a controversial mortgage program run by the now-defunct mortgage giant Countrywide Financial Corp.
Jan. 17, 2012
Private groups spent almost $6 million to send Members of Congress and staff on trips last year, more than in any year since Congress tightened its restrictions on outside groups paying for travel in 2007.
Jan. 17, 2012
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) today sent a letter to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) asking how he plans to proceed with his investigation of lawmakers tied to a controversial mortgage program after reports surfaced over the weekend that the previously unidentified Members of Congress involved in the case are Republicans, including the chairman of an influential committee.
Jan. 15, 2012
Traveling as part of a Congressional delegation isnt all fun and games. Sometimes it involves catching up with relatives.