The House Ethics Committee on Monday said there is “substantial” evidence that Illinois Rep. Marie Newman bribed a primary opponent with a job in return for his support, The Chicago Sun-Times reports.
The committee said it will continue its investigation, which was prompted by a recommendation from the Office of Congressional Ethics in October.
The committee released documents from the probe on Monday, including an OCE report that found “there is substantial reason to believe that Rep. Newman may have promised federal employment to a primary opponent for the purpose of procuring political support.”
Newman faced a primary challenge from Iymen Hamman Chehade in 2020 when he suddenly joined her campaign staff over the summer.
Federal Election Commission filings show that the campaign paid Chehade nearly $60,000 over six months.
Newman denies that there was a quid pro quo between the two candidates, arguing that she had technically not declared her intent to run when Chehade joined her staff.
Newman’s lawyers argue that her employment contract with the primary challenger did not violate any “law, rule, or standard of conduct.”
Along with the campaign job, Chehade signed a contract that promised him a chief foreign policy adviser role in Newman’s congressional office. Chehade filed a lawsuit in January after Newman failed to hire him. The suit was settled last summer.
The committee on Monday also accused Colorado Rep. Doug Lamborn of misusing his congressional staff and resources to run errands for his family.
The panel found that Lamborn’s staff was asked to help his son prepare for job interviews with the federal government and throw a party for his daughter-in-law after she became a US citizen.
Lamborn denied the allegations.
“A thorough review of the facts will make it clear to everyone that no ethical violation has occurred, and the same should be dismissed,” Lamborn said.