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                                                Union Calendar No. 892
115th Congress    }                                      {     Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session       }                                      {   115-1125                                                              
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     


                         SUMMARY OF ACTIVITIES

                     ONE HUNDRED FIFTEENTH CONGRESS

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                          COMMITTEE ON ETHICS







[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]









January 2, 2019.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed 
              
                                       ______
                                       
	      		 
                       U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 
	      		 
33-969                         WASHINGTON : 2019                 
	                
              
              
              
              
              
              
              
              
              
                          COMMITTEE ON ETHICS

SUSAN W. BROOKS, Indiana             THEODORE E. DEUTCH, Florida
  Chairwoman                           Ranking Member
KENNY MARCHANT, Texas                YVETTE D. CLARKE, New York
LEONARD LANCE, New Jersey            JARED POLIS, Colorado
MIMI WALTERS, California             ANTHONY BROWN, Maryland
JOHN RATCLIFFE, Texas                STEVE COHEN, Tennessee



                              REPORT STAFF

              Thomas A. Rust, Chief Counsel/Staff Director
             Brittney Pescatore, Director of Investigations
             Tonia Smith, Director of Advice and Education
               Megan H. Savage, Counsel to the Chairwoman
            Daniel J. Taylor, Counsel to the Ranking Member

                      Molly McCarty, Investigator
              Matthew Steiner, Financial Disclosure Clerk
            Audrey Hickenlooper, Advice and Education Clerk
                   Mark Hamilton, Investigative Clerk
                Kathryn Lefeber Donahue, Senior Counsel
                         David Arrojo, Counsel
                      Katherine L. Dacey, Counsel
                         Janet Foster, Counsel
                        C. Ezekiel Ross, Counsel
















                          LETTER OF SUBMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                          House of Representatives,
                                       Committee on Ethics,
                                   Washington, DC, January 2, 2019.
Hon. Karen L. Haas,
Clerk, House of Representatives,
Washington, DC.
    Dear Ms. Haas: Pursuant to clauses 3(a)(2) and 3(b) of Rule 
XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, we herewith 
transmit the attached Report, ``Summary of Activities 115th 
Congress.''
            Sincerely,

                                   Susan W. Brooks,
                                           Chairwoman.
                                   Theodore E. Deutch,
                                           Ranking Member.















                            C O N T E N T S

                              ----------                              
  I. INTRODUCTION.....................................................3
 II. ADVICE AND EDUCATION.............................................4
III. FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE............................................10
 IV. COMMITTEE RULES.................................................12
  V. WORKPLACE MISCONDUCT............................................12
 VI. INVESTIGATIONS..................................................15
APPENDIX I: RELEVANT HOUSE RULES
APPENDIX II: ADVISORY MEMORANDUM
APPENDIX III: COMMITTEE RULES
APPENDIX IV: PUBLIC STATEMENTS















                                               Union Calendar No. 892
115th Congress    }                                      {     Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session       }                                      {   115-1125
======================================================================



 
                         SUMMARY OF ACTIVITIES

                     ONE HUNDRED FIFTEENTH CONGRESS

                                _______
                                

 January 2, 2019--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Ms. Brooks of Indiana, from the Committee on Ethics, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                                Overview

    The Committee on Ethics (Committee) is tasked with 
interpreting and enforcing the House's ethics rules. The 
Committee has sole jurisdiction over the interpretation of the 
Code of Official Conduct, which governs the acts of House 
Members, officers, and employees. The Committee is the only 
standing House committee with equal numbers of Democratic and 
Republican Members. The operative staff of the Committee is 
required by rule to be professional and nonpartisan.
    In the 115th Congress, the Committee was led by Chairwoman 
Susan W. Brooks and Ranking Member Theodore E. Deutch. The 
Members appointed at the beginning of the Congress were Patrick 
Meehan, Yvette Clarke, Trey Gowdy, Jared Polis, Kenny Marchant, 
Anthony Brown, Leonard Lance, and Steve Cohen. In January 2018, 
Representative Mimi Walters replaced Representative Trey Gowdy, 
and Representative John Ratcliffe replaced Representative 
Patrick Meehan.
    The Committee's core responsibilities include providing 
training, advice, and education to House Members, officers, and 
employees; reviewing and approving requests to accept 
privately-sponsored travel related to official duties; 
reviewing and certifying all financial disclosure reports 
Members, candidates for the House, officers, and senior staff 
are required to file; and investigating and adjudicating 
allegations of misconduct and violations of rules, laws, or 
other standards of conduct. As discussed at greater length in 
Section V, in the 115th Congress the Committee also worked with 
others in the House to draft and pass legislation to improve 
the process for reporting and addressing allegations of 
workplace misconduct in the legislative branch.
    The Committee met 27 times in the 115th Congress, including 
15 times in 2017, and 12 times in 2018.
    Within the scope of its training, advice and education, 
travel, and financial disclosure responsibilities, the 
Committee:
           Issued more than 740 formal advisory 
        opinions regarding ethics rules;
           Reviewed and approved more than 4,000 
        requests to accept privately-sponsored, officially-
        connected travel;
           Fielded nearly 48,000 informal telephone 
        calls, emails, and in-person requests for guidance on 
        ethics issues;
           Released 16 advisory memoranda on various 
        ethics topics to the House;
           Provided training to approximately 9,000 
        House Members, officers, and employees each year, and 
        reviewed their certifications for satisfying the 
        House's mandatory training requirements;
           Received nearly 9,500 Financial Disclosure 
        Statements and amendments filed by House Members, 
        officers, senior staff, and House candidates; and
           Received more than 4,000 Periodic 
        Transaction Reports filed by House Members, officers, 
        and senior staff, containing thousands of transactions.
    In addition, the Committee actively investigates 
allegations against House Members, officers, and employees, 
using a mix of investigative techniques to determine the 
validity of factual allegations, explore potential rules 
violations, and recommend appropriate sanctions and corrective 
actions. The Committee's options for investigating a matter 
include fact-gathering under Committee Rules 18(a) and 18(c), 
the impanelment of investigative subcommittees (ISCs), 
consideration of formal complaints, and the review of 
transmittals from the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). 
Committee review of a matter in any of these formats is an 
``investigation'' under House and Committee rules. Also, it is 
not uncommon for a matter to be investigated by the Committee 
in more than one of these formats over the course of the 
Committee's overall review of that matter. For example, as 
discussed further in this report, from time to time the 
Committee may begin an investigation under Committee Rule 18(a) 
and subsequently determine that it is appropriate to continue 
the investigation through an ISC.
    The initiation or status of an investigative matter may or 
may not be publicly disclosed, depending on the circumstances 
of the individual matter. However, the fact that the Committee 
is investigating a particular matter, opts to investigate a 
matter in one format instead of another, is required or chooses 
to make a public statement regarding a pending investigative 
matter, or that a House Member, officer, or employee is 
referenced in an investigative matter should not be construed 
as a finding or suggestion that the Member, officer, or 
employee has committed any violation of the rules, law, or 
standards of conduct.
    During the 115th Congress, within the scope of its 
investigative responsibilities, the Committee:
          Commenced or continued investigative fact-
        gathering regarding 56 separate investigative matters;
          Impanelled seven new ISCs, in the matters of 
        Representative Chris Collins, Representative Blake 
        Farenthold, Representative Trent Franks, Representative 
        Duncan Hunter, Representative Ruben Kihuen, 
        Representative Patrick Meehan, and Representative David 
        Schweikert;
          Held 24 ISC meetings;
          Filed 11 reports with the House totaling over 
        2,500 pages regarding various investigative matters;
          Released 1 staff report totaling over 150 
        pages;
          Publicly addressed 29 matters, described in 
        Section V of this report;
          Resolved 16 additional matters;
          Conducted 80 voluntary witness interviews;
          Authorized the issuance of 12 subpoenas; and
          Reviewed over 433,000 pages of documents.
    All votes taken in the ISCs were unanimous. There were a 
total of 8 investigative matters pending before the Committee 
as of January 2, 2019.
    All of the Committee's work as summarized in this report is 
made possible by the Committee's talented professional, 
nonpartisan staff. The Members of the Committee wish to 
acknowledge their hard work and dedication to the Committee and 
the House. In addition, the Committee wishes to thank its 
departing Members, Representative Lance, Representative Polis, 
and Representative Walters, for their service and for the 
thoughtfulness and collegiality they showed during their time 
on the Committee.

                            I. INTRODUCTION

    House Rule XI, clause 1(d), requires each committee to 
submit to the House, not later than January 2 of each odd-
numbered year, a report on the activities of that committee 
under that rule and House Rule X. This report summarizes the 
activities of the Committee for the entirety of the 115th 
Congress.
    The jurisdiction of the Committee on Ethics is defined in 
clauses 4(d)(1) of House Rule II, clauses 1(g) and 11(g)(4) of 
House Rule X, clause 3 of House Rule XI, and clause 5(h) of 
House Rule XXV. The text of those provisions is attached as 
Appendix I to this Report.
    In addition, a number of provisions of statutory law confer 
authority on the Committee. Specifically, for purposes of the 
statutes on gifts to federal employees (5 U.S.C. Sec. 7353) and 
gifts to superiors (5 U.S.C. Sec. 7351), both the Committee and 
the House of Representatives are the ``supervising ethics 
office'' of House Members, officers, and employees. In 
addition, as discussed further in Part III below, for House 
Members, officers, and employees, the Committee is both the 
``supervising ethics office'' with regard to financial 
disclosure under the Ethics in Government Act (EIGA) (5 U.S.C. 
app. Sec. Sec. 101 et seq.) and the ``employing agency'' for 
certain purposes under the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act (5 
U.S.C. Sec. 7342). The outside employment and earned income 
limitations of the EIGA are administered by the Committee with 
respect to House Members, officers, and employees (5 U.S.C. 
app. Sec. 503(1)(A)). Finally, the notification of negotiation 
and recusal requirements created by the Honest Leadership and 
Open Government Act (HLOGA) are administered, in part, by the 
Committee.

                        II. ADVICE AND EDUCATION

    Pursuant to a provision of the Ethics Reform Act of 1989 (2 
U.S.C. Sec. 4711(i)), the Committee maintains an Office of 
Advice and Education, which is staffed as directed by the 
Committee's Chairwoman and Ranking Member. Under the statute, 
the primary responsibilities of the Office include the 
following:
          Providing information and guidance to House 
        Members, officers, and employees on the laws, rules, 
        and other standards of conduct applicable to them in 
        their official capacities;
          Drafting responses to specific advisory 
        opinion requests received from House Members, officers, 
        and employees, and submitting them to the Chairwoman 
        and Ranking Member for review and approval;
          Drafting advisory memoranda on the ethics 
        rules for general distribution to House Members, 
        officers, and employees, and submitting them to the 
        Chairwoman and Ranking Member, or the full Committee, 
        for review and approval; and
          Developing and conducting educational 
        briefings for House Members, officers, and employees.
    The duties of the Office of Advice and Education are also 
addressed in Committee Rule 3, which sets out additional 
requirements and procedures for the issuance of Committee 
advisory opinions.
    Under Committee Rule 3(j), the Committee will keep 
confidential any request for advice from a Member, officer, or 
employee, as well as any response to such a request. As a 
further inducement to House Members, officers, and employees to 
seek Committee advice whenever they have any uncertainty on the 
applicable laws, rules, or standards, statutory law (2 U.S.C. 
Sec. 4711(i)(4)) provides that no information provided to the 
Committee by a Member or staff person when seeking advice on 
prospective conduct may be used as a basis for initiating a 
Committee investigation if the individual acts in accordance 
with the Committee's written advice. In the same vein, 
Committee Rule 3(k) provides that the Committee may take no 
adverse action in regard to any conduct that has been 
undertaken in reliance on a written opinion of the Committee if 
the conduct conforms to the specific facts addressed in the 
opinion. Committee Rule 3(l) also precludes the Committee from 
using information provided to the Committee by a requesting 
individual ``seeking advice regarding prospective conduct . . . 
as the basis for initiating an investigation,'' provided that 
the requesting individual ``acts in good faith in accordance 
with the written advice of the Committee.'' In addition, the 
Committee understands that federal courts may consider the good 
faith reliance of a House Member, officer, or employee on 
written Committee advice as a defense to Justice Department 
prosecution regarding certain statutory violations.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\For example, a federal court held that it is a complete defense 
to a prosecution for conduct assertedly in violation of a related 
federal criminal strict-liability statute (18 U.S.C. Sec. 208) that the 
conduct was undertaken in good faith reliance upon erroneous legal 
advice received from the official's supervising ethics office. United 
States v. Hedges, 912 F.2d 1397, 1403 n.2 (11th Cir. 1990).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee believes that a broad, active program for 
advice and education is an extremely important means for 
attaining understanding of, and compliance with, the ethics 
rules. The specifics of the Committee's efforts in the areas of 
publications, briefings, and advisory opinion letters during 
the 115th Congress are set forth below. In addition, on a daily 
basis Committee staff attorneys provided informal advice in 
response to inquiries received from Members, staff persons, and 
third parties in telephone calls and e-mails directed to the 
Committee office, as well as in person. During the 115th 
Congress, Committee attorneys responded to more than 46,000 
phone calls and e-mail messages seeking advice, and 
participated in many informal meetings with Members, House 
staff, or outside individuals or groups regarding specific 
ethics matters.

                              PUBLICATIONS

    The Committee's major publication is the House Ethics 
Manual, an updated version of which was issued in March 2008. 
The Manual provides detailed explanations of all aspects of the 
ethics rules and statutes applicable to House Members, 
officers, and employees. Topics covered by the Manual include 
the acceptance of gifts or travel, campaign activity, casework, 
outside employment, and involvement with official and outside 
organizations. The House Ethics Manual is posted in a 
searchable format on the Committee's website: https://
ethics.house.gov.
    The Committee updates and expands upon the materials in the 
Manual, as well as highlights matters of particular concern, 
through the issuance of general advisory memoranda to all House 
Members, officers, and employees. The memoranda issued during 
the 115th Congress were as follows:
          The 2017 Outside Earned Income Limit and 
        Salaries Triggering the Financial Disclosure 
        Requirement and Post-Employment Restrictions Applicable 
        to House Officers and Employees (January 17, 2017);
          Upcoming Financial Disclosure Clinics & 
        Training (April 7, 2017);
          Helping the Victims of Hurricane Harvey 
        (September 2, 2017);
          Reminder about Annual Ethics Training 
        Requirements for 2017 (December 20, 2017);
          Current Guidance on Sexual Harassment and 
        Employment Discrimination in the Congressional 
        Workplace (December 22, 2017);
          The 2018 Outside Earned Income Limit and 
        Salaries Triggering the Financial Disclosure 
        Requirement and Post-Employment Restrictions Applicable 
        to House Officers and Employees (January 5, 2018);
          Ethics Guidance Related to Operations During 
        a Lapse in Appropriations (January 19, 2018);
          Campaign Activity Guidance (June 7, 2018);
          Cryptocurrencies: Financial Disclosure 
        Requirements and Other Ethics Ramifications (June 18, 
        2018);
          Guidance on Personal Endorsement of Promotion 
        by Members of the House of Representatives (August 24, 
        2018);
          Important Information Relating to Hurricane 
        Florence (September 14, 2018);
          Holiday Guidance on the Gift Rule (November 
        29, 2018);
          Reminder About Annual Ethics Training 
        Requirements (December 20, 2018);
          Member Swearing-in Receptions (December 20, 
        2018);
          Negotiations for Future Employment and 
        Restrictions on Post-Employment for House Staff 
        (January 2, 2019);
          Negotiations for Future Employment and 
        Restrictions on Post-Employment for House Members and 
        Officers (January 2, 2019).
    A copy of each of these advisory memoranda is included as 
Appendix II to this Report. In addition, these memoranda are 
available to the House and the public on the Committee's 
website: https://ethics.house.gov.
    Copies of all current Committee publications are available 
from the Committee's office, and their text is posted on the 
Committee's website. The Committee also submits a report each 
month of the Committee's activities to the Committee on House 
Administration (CHA). Finally, with this report, the Committee 
has sought to provide as much transparency as is appropriate. 
In addition to the many numbers referred to throughout this 
report, the Committee annually publishes the following summary 
chart in the interest of transparency.


                            ETHICS TRAINING

    Clause 3(a)(6) of House Rule XI, which originated in the 
110th Congress, requires each House employee to complete ethics 
training each calendar year, pursuant to guidelines to be 
issued by the Committee. The House Rules and Committee's 
guidelines require each House employee to complete one hour of 
ethics training each calendar year. The guidelines also require 
all House employees who are paid at the ``senior staff rate'' 
to complete an additional hour of training once each Congress 
on issues primarily of interest to senior staff.\2\ Rule XI 
requires new House Members and employees to complete ethics 
training within 60 days of the commencement of their service to 
the House.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\In 2018, the senior staff rate was $126,148 per year, or a 
monthly salary above $10,512. This figure is subject to change each 
year, and the Committee issues a general advisory memorandum to all 
House Members, officers, and employees announcing changes in this and 
other salary thresholds relevant to ethics rules.
    \3\The requirement that new Members receive training within 60 days 
of commencement of their service to the House was added to House Rule 
XI in the 114th Congress.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Pursuant to its obligations under Rule XI, the Committee 
held 67 ethics training sessions during 2017 and 90 during 
2018. During the 115th Congress, all employees other than new 
employees were permitted to fulfill their training requirement 
either through attending a training session in person or by 
viewing an on-line presentation. The training sessions for new 
employees provided a general summary of the House ethics rules 
in all areas, such as gifts, travel, campaign activity, 
casework, involvement with outside entities, and outside 
employment. The live and on-line sessions for existing House 
employees covered specific topics, such as gifts and travel or 
campaign work, on a more in-depth basis. The Committee also had 
several different options that senior staff could use to 
fulfill their requirement of one additional hour of training. 
The on-line training provided a general overview of ethics 
rules of particular interest to senior staff. The live training 
sessions focused in depth on a single topic, of import for 
senior staff.
    In 2017, the Committee trained more than 2,100 employees in 
person at live ethics briefings, and more than 6,200 used one 
of the on-line training options. During 2018, the Committee 
trained nearly 2,200 employees in person at live ethics 
briefings, and more than 5,600 through one of the on-line 
training options. The total number of employees who completed 
ethics training for 2018 will be determined after January 31, 
2019, the date that House Rule XI established as the deadline 
for employees to certify completion of the ethics training 
requirement for 2018.
    In addition to the training required under House Rule XI, 
the Committee also provided training in several other contexts. 
The House will include approximately 90 new Members in the 
116th Congress, most of whom have not previously served in the 
House. The Committee made a presentation to the Members-elect 
of the 116th Congress during New Member Orientation. The 
Committee also met with numerous departing Members and staff to 
counsel them on the ethics rules related to their transition to 
private life and the post-employment restrictions. The 
Committee also provided training open to all House Members, 
officers, and employees on the financial disclosure rules, 
which are discussed further in Section III. Finally, together 
with CHA, the Committee participated in two general briefings, 
one in 2017 and one in 2018, on the rules related to Member 
participation in the Congressional Art Competition.
    Committee staff also participated in approximately 50 
briefings sponsored by or held for the members of outside 
organizations. In addition, Committee staff led approximately 
17 briefings for visiting international dignitaries from a 
variety of countries, including Argentina, Nigeria, and Kenya.
    The Committee will continue this outreach activity in the 
116th Congress.

                        ADVISORY OPINION LETTERS

    The Committee's Office of Advice and Education, under the 
direction and supervision of the Committee's Chairwoman and 
Ranking Member, prepared and issued approximately 750 private 
advisory opinions during the 115th Congress: 400 in 2017 and 
341 in 2018. Opinions issued by the Committee in the 115th 
Congress addressed a wide range of subjects, including various 
provisions of the gift rule, Member or staff participation in 
fund-raising activities of charities and for other purposes, 
the outside earned income and employment limitations, campaign 
activity by staff, and the post-employment restrictions.

                        TRAVEL APPROVAL LETTERS

    As discussed above, House Rule XXV, clause 5(d)(2), which 
was enacted at the start of the 110th Congress, charged each 
House Member or employee with obtaining approval of the 
Committee prior to undertaking any travel paid for by a private 
source on matters connected to the individual's House duties. 
Since 2007, the Committee has conducted a thorough review of 
each proposed privately-sponsored trip.
    Committee approval of a proposed trip does not reflect an 
endorsement of the trip sponsor. Instead, Committee approval is 
limited to the question of whether the proposed trip complies 
with the relevant laws, rules, or regulations. To that end, the 
Committee's nonpartisan, professional staff recommends changes 
where necessary to bring a proposed trip into compliance with 
relevant laws, rules, or regulations and, on occasion, informs 
House Members and employees that a proposed trip is not 
permissible. The Committee recognizes both the significant 
benefit the public receives when their Representatives and 
their Representatives' staff receive hands-on education and 
experience, as well as the mandate that outside groups be 
appropriately limited in what gifts and support they are 
allowed to provide to Members of Congress and congressional 
staff.
    The Committee is directed by House Rules to develop and 
revise as necessary guidelines and regulations governing the 
acceptance of privately-sponsored, officially-connected travel 
by House Members, officers, and employees.\4\ The Committee 
issued initial travel regulations in a pair of memoranda dated 
February 20 and March 14, 2007. At the end of the 112th 
Congress, the Committee adopted new travel regulations (Travel 
Regulations). The new Travel Regulations were issued on 
December 27, 2012, and were effective for all trips beginning 
on or after April 1, 2013. In the 115th Congress, the Committee 
continued its ongoing efforts to review the guidelines and 
regulations regarding privately-funded, officially-connected 
travel. This review included a thorough examination of the 
forms used for privately-funded, officially-connected travel 
approval.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\House Rule XXV, clause 5(i).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In general, the Committee requires that any House Member, 
officer, or employee who wishes to accept an offer of 
privately-sponsored, officially-connected travel must submit 
all required paperwork to the Committee at least 30 days prior 
to the start of the trip.\5\ However, the 30-day requirement 
does not apply to certain types of trips, and the Committee 
retains authority to approve requests submitted after that 
deadline in exceptional circumstances.\6\ When the Committee 
opts to approve a request filed after the general deadline, the 
approval letter sent to the traveler--which must ultimately be 
publicly disclosed--notes that fact.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\House Comm. on Ethics, Travel Guidelines and Regulations (Dec. 
27, 2012) (Travel Regulations) at Part 500--Committee Approval Process, 
available at https://ethics.house.gov/sites/
ethics.house.gov/files/documents/travel%20regs.pdf.
    \6\Id. at Sec. 501.1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Under the travel approval process established by the 
Committee to implement this rule, the Committee reviewed more 
than 2,500 requests to accept privately-sponsored, officially-
connected travel, and issued letters approving more than 2,000 
such requests in 2017. In 2018, the Committee reviewed nearly 
2,300 requests to accept privately-sponsored, officially-
connected travel, and issued letters approving nearly 2,000 
such requests.
    House Rules and the Committee's Travel Regulations require 
all House Members, officers, and employees who receive 
Committee approval to accept privately-sponsored, officially-
connected travel to file detailed paperwork about the trip with 
the Clerk within 15 days of the conclusion of the trip.\7\ The 
Committee also reviewed the post-travel disclosure forms filed 
by the traveler for each approved trip and requested amendments 
or other remedial action by the traveler when deemed 
necessary.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\House Rule XXV, clause 5(b)(1)(A)(ii); Travel Regulations at 
Part 600--Post-Travel Disclosure.
    \8\From time to time, a traveler may inadvertently fail to file all 
of the required paperwork with their post-travel submission. That is 
not an indication that the information was not provided to the 
Committee prior to the trip and before the Committee approved the 
request, only that the traveler's subsequent submission was incomplete.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The post-travel filings are made available to the public in 
a searchable online database on the Clerk's website, at http://
clerk.house.gov/public_disc/giftTravel-search.aspx. The public, 
the media, and outside groups have used this valuable resource 
for years, and the Committee anticipates that they will 
continue to do so. The Committee requires those Members, 
officers, and employees who are required to file financial 
disclosure statements, as discussed in Section III, to also 
provide information about privately-sponsored, officially-
connected travel on their financial disclosure filings, but the 
public should be aware that much more detailed and timely 
public filings regarding such travel are required, and the most 
authoritative source of those filings is the Clerk's website.

                       III. FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

    Title I of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (EIGA), as 
amended (5 U.S.C. app. Sec. Sec. 101-111), requires certain 
officials in all branches of the federal government, as well as 
candidates for federal office, to file publicly-available 
Financial Disclosure Statements (Statements). These Statements 
disclose information concerning the filer's finances, as well 
as those of certain family members. By May 15 of each year, 
these ``covered individuals'' are required to file a Statement 
that provides information for the preceding calendar year. In 
addition, the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act 
(STOCK Act) amended EIGA in 2012 to add a requirement that 
financial disclosure filers must report certain securities 
transactions over $1,000 no later than 45 days after the 
transaction. The Committee has termed these interim reports 
``Periodic Transaction Reports'' or ``PTRs.''
    Financial disclosure filings are not intended to be net 
worth statements, nor are they well suited to that purpose. As 
the Commission on Administrative Review of the 95th Congress 
stated in recommending broader financial disclosure 
requirements: ``The objectives of financial disclosure are to 
inform the public about the financial interests of government 
officials in order to increase public confidence in the 
integrity of government and to deter potential conflicts of 
interest.''\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \9\House Comm. on Admin. Review, Financial Ethics, H. Doc. 95-73, 
96th Cong., 1st Sess. 6 (1977).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    All Members of the House, including Members who are serving 
the first year of their first term, are required to file a 
Statement. In addition, any officer or employee of the House 
who was paid at or above 120 percent of the minimum pay for 
Executive Branch GS-15 (the ``senior staff'' rate) for at least 
60 days in a calendar year must file a Statement on or before 
May 15 of the following year. Certain other employees, 
including those designated by a Member as a ``principal 
assistant'' for financial disclosure purposes and employees who 
are shared staff of three or more offices, are also subject to 
some financial disclosure filing requirements. Most Members, 
officers and employees who are otherwise required to file 
Statements must file a termination report within 30 days of the 
termination of their employment with the House.
    Starting in 2013, financial disclosure filers were able to 
use an online electronic filing system to draft and submit 
their Statements and PTRs. Thanks to a very industrious 
collaboration with the Clerk of the House to create the online 
system, and extensive outreach and education, a majority of all 
Members and staff used the online electronic filing system to 
submit their calendar year 2018 Statements. Specifically, 83% 
of Members and 90% of House staff used the online system to 
draft and submit their 2018 Statements.
    The Committee engages in substantial training efforts to 
assist filers with completing their Statements and PTRs. The 
Committee held nine briefings for Members, officers, and 
employees. The Committee hosted seven walk-in clinics to 
support filers' use of the electronic filing system for 
Statements and PTRs.
    For the 115th Congress, the Committee continued its long-
standing practice of Committee staff meeting with Members, 
officers, and employees of the House to assist filers with 
their Statements and PTRs. Committee staff responded to 
telephone, e-mail, and in-person questions from filers on an 
as-needed basis, in addition to reviewing drafts of Statements 
and PTRs. The Committee encourages all financial disclosure 
filers to avail themselves of opportunities to seek and receive 
information and assistance.
    For calendar year 2017, the Legislative Resource Center of 
the Clerk's office referred a total of 4,489 Financial 
Disclosure Statements to the Committee for review. Of those, 
3,728 were Statements filed by current or new House Members or 
employees, and 761 were Statements filed by candidates for the 
House. The Clerk's office also referred a total of 2,106 PTRs 
to the Committee for review. The Committee received 803 PTRs 
from Members and 1,303 PTRs from officers and employees.
    For calendar year 2018, the Legislative Resource Center of 
the Clerk's office referred a total of 5,009 Statements to the 
Committee for review. Of those, 3,721 were Statements filed by 
current or new House Members or employees, and 1,288 were 
Statements filed by candidates for the House. The Clerk's 
office also referred a total of 2,205 PTRs to the Committee for 
review. The Committee received 831 PTRs from Members and 1,374 
PTRs from officers and employees.
    Where the Committee's review indicated that a filed 
Statement or PTR was deficient, the Committee requested an 
amendment from the filer. Such amendments are routine and, 
without evidence of a knowing or willful violation, the 
Committee will usually take no further action after the 
amendment has been filed. Amendments are made publicly 
available in the same manner as other financial disclosure 
filings. The Committee also followed up with filers whose 
Statements indicated non-compliance with applicable law, such 
as the outside employment and outside earned income 
limitations.
    More information about financial disclosure, including the 
Committee's instruction booklet for filers and blank copies of 
Statement and PTR forms, is available on the Committee's 
website, at https://ethics.house.gov/financial-dislosure. In 
addition, financial disclosure filings of Members and 
candidates and other information about financial disclosure is 
available on the Clerk's website, at http://clerk.house.gov/
public_disc/financial.aspx.

                          IV. COMMITTEE RULES

    After the beginning of each Congress, the Committee must 
adopt rules for that Congress. On March 22, 2017, the Committee 
met and adopted the Committee rules for the 115th Congress. The 
substance of the Committee rules for the 115th Congress was 
largely identical to the amended rules adopted in the 114th 
Congress.\10\
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    \10\In the 112th Congress, as a result of the efforts of a working 
group formed to assess the Committee's rules and procedures, numerous 
changes were made to the Committee's investigative rules, including 
changes to Committee Rules 4, 9, 17A, 18, 19 and 23. Those changes were 
adopted by the Committee on May 18, 2012. House Comm. on Ethics, 
Summary of Activities One Hundred Twelfth Congress, H. Rept. 112-730, 
112th Cong. 2nd Sess. at 21 (2012).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A copy of the Committee Rules for the 115th Congress is 
included as Appendix III to this Report.

                        V. WORKPLACE MISCONDUCT

    As the Committee stated publicly on numerous occasions 
during the 115th Congress, the Committee views allegations of 
sexual discrimination and other violations of workplace rights 
with the utmost seriousness. The Committee's mandate to enforce 
the Code of Official Conduct and other violations of House 
Rules, laws and standards of conduct extends to allegations of 
workplace misconduct, including allegations related to sexual 
harassment and other forms of discrimination. No employee in 
any workplace should be subjected to such mistreatment because 
of the profound impact upon them as a person. When 
congressional employees are subject to work environments that 
are unfair and unprofessional, such workplace misconduct also 
impedes the work of the House.
    Sexual harassment and employment discrimination are 
prohibited by both federal statute and the Code of Official 
Conduct. The Congressional Accountability Act (CAA) extends the 
protections of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to 
Congress, prohibiting harassment or discrimination of 
individuals in congressional offices on the basis of race, 
color, national origin, sex, religion, age, or disability.\11\ 
The CAA established the Office of Compliance (OOC), now named 
the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights, an independent 
office that administers formal and informal procedures to 
resolve disputes and provides monetary awards and other 
appropriate remedies for congressional employees if a violation 
is found. Clause 9 of the Code of Official Conduct similarly 
prohibits any Member, officer, or employee of the House from 
discriminating against any individual ``with respect to 
compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, 
because of the race, color, religion, sex (including marital or 
parental status, disability, age, or national origin of such 
individual.'' The Committee has long held the Code's 
prohibition on sex discrimination includes sexual harassment, 
and clause 9 as a whole should be interpreted in light of 
judicial and administrative decisions construing Title VII. On 
February 6, 2018, the House passed Resolution 724, which 
amended clause 9 to affirm that ``committing an act of sexual 
harassment against such an individual'' is included among the 
prohibited forms of discrimination.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \11\2 U.S.C. Sec. 1311 et seq.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Although the Committee has precedent for investigating 
allegations of sexual harassment and other workplace misconduct 
under the laws, rules, and standards of conduct that were in 
place at the start of the 115th Congress, during the 115th 
Congress, the Members of the Committee unanimously supported a 
bipartisan proposal to reform the CAA and strengthen workplace 
rights and protections for congressional employees. In 
particular, the Committee called for changes to (1) clarify 
when and how the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights must 
provide information to the Committee about allegations of 
misconduct, and (2) ensure Members are held personally 
accountable for settlements paid with public funds to resolve 
claims of sexual harassment against them, even if they leave 
the Committee's jurisdiction. The Committee noted that it had 
requested information from the OOC, about allegations of 
violations of the CAA by Members and staff, but the OOC had 
concluded that it lacked authority under existing law to 
provide such information to the Committee.\12\ The Committee 
worked with the CHA and a bipartisan group of Members on 
legislation to include these and other reforms to the existing 
process.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \12\See e.g. Letter from Comm. on Ethics to Office of Compliance 
Executive Director Susan Tsui Grundmann, Dec. 1, 2017, available at 
https://ethics.house.gov/sites/ethics.house.gov/files/
20171201%20COE%20to%20OOC.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On February 6, 2018, the House passed a bill that included 
provisions requested by the Committee H.R. 4924, the 
Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 Reform Act, with 
overwhelming bipartisan support.\13\ The same day, the House 
also passed Resolution 724, which amended clause 9 to affirm 
that ``committing an act of sexual harassment against such an 
individual'' is included among the prohibited forms of 
discrimination. This resolution also created an Office of 
Employee Advocacy specifically to provide legal counsel to 
House employees who need advice or legal representation about 
their rights under the CAA. This office can provide free legal 
representation to employees in matters before the Office of 
Congressional Workplace Rights or the Committee. On May 24, 
2017, the Senate passed S. 2952, its version of the legislation 
to reform the CAA. The Senate transmitted its version to the 
House on May 29, 2018.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \13\See e.g. House Comm. on Ethics, Statement of the Chairwoman and 
Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics, Feb. 6, 2018, available at 
https://ethics.house.gov/press-release/
statement-chairwoman-and-ranking-member-committee-ethics-0 (discussing 
the House bill and the Committee's view of the importance of ethics 
provisions).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On November 19, 2018, the Committee sent a letter to the 
House and Senate leadership signed by all ten Members of the 
Committee, urging quick action by Congress to pass the much-
needed reforms contained in the House bill.\14\ On December 13, 
2018, Congress passed the Congressional Accountability Act of 
1995 Reform Act, which enacts a number of provisions called for 
by the Committee. On December 21, 2018, the President signed 
the measure into law. The Committee looks forward to working 
with other House offices to implement these reforms in the 
116th Congress.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \14\Letter from Comm. on Ethics to Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Minority 
Leader Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell & Minority Leader 
Charles E. Schumer, Nov. 19, 2018, available at https://
ethics.house.gov/sites/ethics.house.gov/files/
20171201%20COE%20to%20OOC.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Even with reform to the CAA, there are limits to the reach 
of federal employment law statutes, which are structured around 
providing a civil remedy. Members and their staff, however, are 
held to a higher standard of conduct. The Code of Official 
Conduct requires Members, officers and employees of the House 
to ``behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect 
creditably on the House,'' and adhere to ``the spirit and the 
letter'' of House Rules. Accordingly, conduct that does not 
violate the ``letter'' of anti-discrimination laws may still be 
contrary to the spirit of the House's prohibition on 
discriminatory conduct or otherwise be found to bring discredit 
to the House. Under those rules, Members may be held 
accountable not just for their own inappropriate behavior; they 
must also take steps to prevent and correct workplace 
misconduct by their employees that occurs in their offices. 
Moreover, amid an evolving national conversation about 
harassment and discrimination in the workplace and elsewhere, 
the House should be a leader.
    The Committee has investigated and will continue to 
investigate allegations of sexual harassment and other 
workplace misconduct, and, where such allegations are 
substantiated, to sanction Members or staffers for such 
conduct. In the 115th Congress, the Committee publicly 
announced investigations into five Members and one House 
employee for allegations relating to sexual harassment. The 
Committee also impaneled an ISC in a matter involving 
Representative Blake Farenthold that the OCE referred for 
dismissal in the 114th Congress. Despite the OCE's 
recommendation in that matter, the Committee determined that 
the allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct were concerning 
and merited further review. On March 30, 2018, the ISC informed 
Representative Farenthold it had scheduled a vote on a 
Statement of Alleged Violation (SAV) to occur on April 11, 
2018, and would provide him a copy of the SAV upon execution of 
a non-disclosure agreement, both of which are necessary 
prerequisites under House Rules to recommend a House floor 
sanction.\15\ Representative Farenthold resigned on April 6, 
2018, before the ISC could complete its work.\16\ He was not 
the only investigation subject to resign before the Committee 
could resolve a matter; four other subjects of publicly 
disclosed investigations opened this Congress into harassing or 
discriminatory behavior chose to resign after being provided 
the required notice of the Committee's actions. Once a Member 
or employee resigns from the House, the Committee no longer has 
jurisdiction over them.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \15\See e.g. House Comm. on Ethics, Statement of the Chairwoman and 
Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics Regarding Representative 
Blake Farenthold, Apr. 12, 2018, available at https://ethics.house.gov/
press-release/statement-chairwoman-and-ranking-member-committee-ethics-
regarding-representative-17.
    \16\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                           VI. INVESTIGATIONS

    Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution grants each 
chamber of Congress the power to ``punish its Members for 
disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, 
expel a Member.'' The Committee is designated by House rule as 
the body which conducts the investigative and adjudicatory 
functions which usually precede a vote by the full House 
regarding such punishment or expulsion. House Rule XI, clause 
3, as well as Committee Rules 13 through 28, describe specific 
guidelines and procedures for the exercise of that authority.
    As a general matter, the Committee's investigative 
jurisdiction extends to current House Members, officers and 
employees.\17\ When a Member, officer, or employee, who is the 
subject of a Committee investigation, resigns, the Committee 
loses jurisdiction over the individual. In the 115th Congress, 
six individuals resigned from the House while the Committee had 
an open investigation regarding them.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \17\House Rule XI, clause 3(a)(2).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee may not undertake an investigation of an 
alleged violation that occurred before the third previous 
Congress unless the Committee determines that the alleged 
violation is directly related to an alleged violation that 
occurred in a more recent Congress.\18\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \18\House Rule XI, clause 3(b)(3).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In most cases, the Committee only investigates matters that 
allegedly occurred while the individual was a House Member, 
officer, or employee. However, the Committee has asserted 
jurisdiction over alleged conduct that may have violated laws, 
regulations, or standards of conduct, which occurred during an 
initial successful campaign for the House of Representatives. 
Further, the Committee is required to investigate whenever a 
Member, officer or employee of the House is convicted of a 
felony, regardless of whether the underlying conduct occurred 
while the individual was a Member, officer, or employee of the 
House.
    As a general matter, the Committee's investigations are 
conducted either pursuant to authorization by the Chairwoman 
and Ranking Member, under Committee Rule 18(a), or pursuant to 
a vote by the Committee to impanel an ISC. Most investigations 
are conducted pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a). (A self-report 
by a Member, officer, or employee of the House under Committee 
Rule 18(c) requesting a Committee review of their own conduct 
is considered an investigation by the Committee and is 
considered in accordance with Committee Rule 18(a).) Even those 
investigations that ultimately result in the formation of an 
ISC usually begin as Committee Rule 18(a) investigations. 
Committee Rule 18(a) and ISC investigations differ only in 
process, not substance. In both kinds of investigations, 
Committee staff is authorized by Members of the Committee to 
interview witnesses, request documents and information, and 
engage in other investigative actions. Further, both the 
Committee and ISC may authorize subpoenas for documents and 
witness testimony.\19\ Members of the Committee can, and do, 
attend and participate in voluntary interviews with witnesses 
in both 18(a) and ISC investigations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \19\The mechanism for issuing a subpoena by the Committee or an ISC 
does differ. Where an ISC has been impanelled, it can authorize a 
subpoena, to be signed by the Committee's Chairwoman and Ranking 
Member. If the investigation is at the Committee Rule 18(a) stage, the 
full Committee can vote to issue a subpoena to be signed by the 
Chairwoman.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee may opt to investigate a matter under 
Committee Rule 18(a) rather than an ISC for a number of 
reasons. For example, investigating pursuant to Committee Rule 
18(a) preserves the Committee's ability both to deploy its 
limited resources in the most efficient manner possible, and to 
maintain the confidentiality of its investigations. In general, 
the Committee publicly announces when it has voted to impanel 
an ISC. In contrast, most investigations conducted pursuant to 
Committee Rule 18(a) are confidential. Maintaining the 
confidentiality of investigations minimizes the risk of 
interference and protects the identities of complainants. 
Indeed, in recent investigations, employees of a Member have 
brought allegations of misconduct to the Committee when they 
have remained in the employ of the Member and faced 
intimidation or reprisal.\20\ Maintaining a confidential 
investigation also avoids unnecessarily tarnishing a Member's 
reputation before a determination of wrongdoing has been made.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \20\See, e.g., Comm. on Ethics, In the Matter of Allegations 
Relating to Representative Laura Richardson, H. Rept. 112-642, 112th 
Cong. 2d Sess. (2012).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The fact that an investigation is conducted in a 
confidential manner does not preclude the Committee from making 
a public statement at the end of the investigation. For 
example, in recent Congresses, the Committee has issued public 
reports to the House and/or letters of reproval in a number of 
investigative matters that were initiated by the Committee and 
that had not previously been publicly disclosed by the 
Committee.\21\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \21\See, e.g., Comm. on Ethics, In the Matter of Allegations 
Relating to Elizabeth Esty, H. Rept 115-1093, 115th Cong. 2d Sess. 
(2018); Comm. on Ethics, In the Matter of Allegations Relating to 
Representative David McKinley, H. Rept. 114-795, 114th Cong. 2d Sess. 
(2016); Comm. on Ethics, In the Matter of Allegations Relating to 
Representative Phil Gingrey, H. Rept. 113-664, 113th Cong. 2d Sess. 
(2014).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Whether the Committee investigates a matter under Committee 
Rule 18(a) or through an ISC, by rule, the Committee may choose 
to exercise its investigative authority in several different 
scenarios.\22\ However, most Committee investigations begin 
when the Committee, on its own initiative, undertakes an 
investigation. In the 115th Congress, the Committee commenced 
or continued investigative fact-gathering regarding 56 separate 
investigative matters, most of which were begun at the 
Committee's initiative. Those matters also included referrals 
from the OCE. In the 115th Congress, the OCE referred 14 
matters to the Committee, 12 with a recommendation for further 
review and 2 with a recommendation that all of the allegations 
be dismissed.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \22\Specifically, the Committee may exercise its investigative 
authority when: (1) information offered as a complaint by a Member of 
the House of Representatives is transmitted directly to the Committee; 
(2) information offered as a complaint by an individual not a Member of 
the House is transmitted to the Committee, provided that a Member of 
the House certifies in writing that such Member believes the 
information is submitted in good faith and warrants the review and 
consideration of the Committee; (3) the Committee, on its own 
initiative, undertakes an investigation; (4) a Member, officer, or 
employee is convicted in a Federal, State, or local court of a felony; 
(5) the House of Representatives, by resolution, authorizes or directs 
the Committee to undertake an inquiry or investigation; or (6) a 
referral from the OCE is transmitted to the Committee. See Committee 
Rule 14(a).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the 115th Congress, the Committee issued reprovals in 
four matters, one following an investigation conducted by an 
ISC. Including those four matters, since 2008, the Committee 
has recommended that the House issue a censure in one matter, 
recommended in another matter that the House issue a reprimand, 
and issued 14 reprovals. Nine of those resolutions followed 
investigations initiated by the Committee under its own 
authority, while seven of those resolutions followed 
recommendations by the OCE that the Committee review the 
allegations.
    The OCE is an independent office within the House created 
by a House resolution in the 110th Congress after the release 
of a report of the Democratic Members of the Special Ethics 
Task Force on Ethics Enforcement (Task Force Report).\23\ 
According to the Task Force Report, the OCE Board has the 
responsibility to review information on allegations of 
misconduct by Members, officers, and employees of the House and 
make recommendations to the Committee for the Committee's 
official consideration and action.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \23\Special Task Force on Ethics Enforcement, 110th Cong., Report 
of the Democratic Members of the Special Task Force on Ethics 
Enforcement (Comm. Print 2007).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Two OCE Board members may initiate a review by notifying 
all other OCE Board members in writing. The OCE Board then has 
30 calendar days to consider the matter in a preliminary review 
phase and may vote to either terminate the review or progress 
to the second-phase review. Once in the second phase, the OCE 
Board has 45 calendar days (with a possible one-time extension 
of 14 days) to complete consideration of the matter and refer 
it to the Committee with a recommendation for dismissal, 
further review, or as unresolved due to a tie vote. The OCE 
Board's referral may not contain any conclusions regarding the 
validity of the allegations upon which it is based or the guilt 
or innocence of the individual who is the subject of the 
review. The Task Force believed that ``the timeline 
requirements instituted by the new process are critical: 
matters will spend at most three months under consideration by 
the Board of the OCE before being referred to the Committee for 
resolution.''\24\ The Task Force considered whether to give the 
OCE either direct or indirect subpoena power. But the Task 
Force Report ultimately decided not to give the OCE subpoena 
power based on a number of factors. Instead, the Task Force 
Report stated that the Board's referral may include 
recommendations for the issuance of subpoenas by the Committee 
where Members feel it appropriate.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \24\Id. at 14. The 14 OCE referrals received by the Committee in 
the 115th Congress were transmitted an average of 120 days after the 
start of the preliminary review phase.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The ethics process has not undergone any significant 
changes since the creation of the OCE. The Task Force Report 
recommended an ongoing review of the ethics process. In the 
spirit of that recommendation for ongoing review, the Committee 
held extensive meetings with the OCE. Those meetings were 
productive and identified several ways the Committee and the 
OCE could increase the fairness, efficiency, transparency, and 
accuracy of the ethics process.
    When the Committee receives a referral from the OCE, it is 
required to review the referral ``without prejudice or 
presumptions as to the merit of the allegations.''\25\ The 
Committee thus makes an independent determination about how to 
proceed in the matter based on the information before the 
Committee, which may include not only the OCE referral and 
supporting documents provided to the Committee by the OCE, but 
other information. It is not uncommon that the Committee's 
review will require more than 90 days, because of the need to 
review documents, interview witnesses, and/or assess the legal 
significance of evidence, among other investigative steps. Some 
investigations may require the review of tens of thousands, if 
not hundreds of thousands, of pages of documents. For example, 
in the 113th Congress one investigation that spanned multiple 
Congresses required the Committee to review more than 220,000 
pages of documents to resolve the matter.\26\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \25\Committee Rule 17A(a).
    \26\Comm. on Ethics, In the Matter of Allegations Relating to 
Representative Don Young, H. Rept. 113-487, 113th Cong. 2d Sess. at 2 
(2014). That investigation was begun at the Committee's initiative 
under Committee Rule 18(a). Subsequently, the Committee established an 
ISC to continue the investigation. Ultimately, the Committee issued a 
public report and letter of reproval to the Member.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In some instances, the Committee may be asked to defer its 
investigation by another law enforcement entity, generally the 
U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The Committee typically 
honors such requests, barring unusual circumstances. For one 
thing, parallel investigations pose the risk of compromising 
one another. Also, for the most serious criminal violations, 
only DOJ can pursue a prosecution to seek imprisonment, the 
most serious possible consequence for a violation of law.\27\ 
Provided that the Committee still retains jurisdiction, a 
decision by the Committee to defer does not preclude the 
Committee from continuing its investigation later, regardless 
of the outcome of the other entity's investigation. In 
addition, a decision by the Committee to defer an investigation 
does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or 
reflect any judgment on behalf of the Committee. In the 115th 
Congress, the Committee did opt to defer several investigations 
at the request of DOJ, as described further below.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \27\DOJ will not lose jurisdiction to continue an investigation and 
pursue prosecution, if it determines that is appropriate, in the event 
that a Member or employee leaves the House, whether through resignation 
or defeat for reelection.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee publicly addressed 29 investigative matters 
during the 115th Congress. In addition to confidential matters, 
the Committee also carried over several public matters from the 
114th Congress. In the 115th Congress, the Committee continued 
to address the matters concerning Representatives Blake 
Farenthold, Luis Gutierrez, Duncan Hunter, Cathy McMorris 
Rodgers, Mark Meadows, Markwayne Mullin, Robert Pittenger, 
Bobby Rush, and Roger Williams. A chronological overview of 
public statements made by the Committee in the 115th Congress 
regarding investigative matters follows.
    On March 23, 2017, the Committee announced that, pursuant 
to Committee Rule 18(a), it would continue to review 
allegations referred by the OCE regarding Representative Duncan 
Hunter. Following precedent, the Committee unanimously voted to 
defer consideration of its investigation in response to a 
request from DOJ.
    On April 6, 2017, the Committee announced that, pursuant to 
Committee Rule 18(a), it would review public allegations that 
Representative Devin Nunes may have made unauthorized 
disclosures of classified information.
    On August 1, 2017, the Committee transmitted a Report to 
the House regarding allegations relating to Representative Ben 
Ray Lujan.
    On August 1, 2017, the Committee transmitted a Report to 
the House regarding allegations relating to Representative 
Roger Williams.
    On August 9, 2017, the Committee announced that, pursuant 
to Committee Rule 18(a), it would continue to review 
allegations referred by the OCE that Representative John 
Conyers, Jr. retained an employee who did not perform duties 
commensurate with the compensation the employee received and 
certified that the compensation met applicable House standards.
    On August 9, 2017, the Committee announced that, pursuant 
to Committee Rule 18(a), it would continue to review 
allegations referred by the OCE that House employee Michael 
Collins received outside earned income in excess of amounts 
permitted by House rules and federal law.
    On September 11, 2017, the Committee announced that, 
pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a), it would continue to review 
allegations referred by the OCE that Delegate Madeleine 
Bordallo may have rented a home she owns to the Japanese 
Consulate for profit; may have received free lodging, meals and 
amenities at a resort; may have used official funds to pay for 
her lodging and meals at a resort; and may have used her 
congressional staff to perform personal services.
    On September 14, 2017, the Committee transmitted a Report 
to the House regarding the arrest during a protest of 
Representative Luis V. Gutierrez.
    On October 13, 2017, the Committee announced that, pursuant 
to Committee Rule 18(a), it would continue to review 
allegations referred by the OCE that Representative Chris 
Collins may have shared material nonpublic information in the 
purchase of stock in a company for which he served on the 
board; may have purchased discounted company stock that was 
offered to him based on his status as a Member of the House; 
and may have attended a meeting with a federal agency in which 
he requested actions to assist his company.
    On November 21, 2017, the Committee announced that, 
pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a), it would review public 
allegations that Representative John Conyers, Jr. may have 
engaged in sexual harassment of members of his staff, 
discriminated against certain staff on the basis of age, and 
used official resources for impermissible personal purposes.
    On December 1, 2017, the Committee announced that it had 
requested the (now named the Office of Congressional Workplace 
Rights) provide the Committee with all records in its 
possession related to any claims of sexual harassment, 
discrimination, retaliation, or any other employment practice 
prohibited by the CAA involving alleged conduct by any current 
Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee 
of the House.
    On December 7, 2017, the Committee announced the closure of 
its review related to Representative Devin Nunes.
    On December 7, 2017, the Committee unanimously voted to 
establish an ISC with regard to allegations that Representative 
Trent Franks engaged in conduct that constitutes sexual 
harassment and/or retaliation for opposing sexual harassment.
    On December 7, 2017, the Committee unanimously voted to 
establish an ISC with regard to allegations that Representative 
Blake Farenthold, or any person acting on his behalf, sexually 
harassed a former member of his staff, discriminated against 
her on the basis of her gender, and retaliated against her for 
complaining of discriminatory conduct, and allegations that 
Representative Farenthold made inappropriate statements to 
other members of his official staff.
    On December 15, 2017, the Committee announced that, 
pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a), the Committee would review 
allegations that Representative Ruben Kihuen may have engaged 
in sexual harassment.
    On December 21, 2017, the Committee unanimously voted to 
expand the jurisdiction of the ISC's inquiry regarding 
Representative Blake Farenthold to include allegations that 
Representative Farenthold, or any person acting on his behalf, 
sexually harassed, discriminated against, or retaliated against 
any member of his congressional staff while they were employed 
in his office; used official resources, including staff time, 
to benefit his congressional campaigns; required members of his 
congressional staff to work on his congressional campaigns; and 
made false statements or omissions in testimony to the 
Committee.
    On December 21, 2017, the Committee unanimously voted to 
establish an ISC with regard to allegations that Representative 
Ruben Kihuen engaged in conduct that constitutes sexual 
harassment.
    On December 21, 2017, the Committee transmitted a Report to 
the House regarding the arrests during a protest of 
Representative Judy Chu and Representative Luis Gutierrez.
    On January 22, 2018, the Committee announced that, pursuant 
to Committee Rules 18(a) and 18(c), it would review allegations 
that Representative Patrick Meehan may have engaged in sexual 
harassment and misused official resources.
    On February 6, 2018, the Chairwoman and Ranking Member of 
the Committee released a statement in support of legislation to 
reform the CAA.
    On February 27, 2018, the Committee unanimously voted to 
establish an ISC with regards to allegations that 
Representative Patrick Meehan, and/or his former Chief of 
Staff, Mr. Brian Schubert, engaged in conduct that constitutes 
sexual harassment, retaliation, or misuse of official 
resources.
    On March 22, 2018, the Committee transmitted a Report to 
the House regarding allegations relating to Representative 
Bobby L. Rush.
    On March 22, 2018, the Committee transmitted a Report to 
the House regarding allegations relating to Representative Luis 
V. Gutierrez.
    On March 23, 2018, the Committee announced that it 
continued to defer consideration of the matter regarding 
Representative Duncan Hunter in response to a request from DOJ.
    On May 24, 2018, the Committee released a statement 
discussing the matters of Representative Blake Farenthold and 
Representative Patrick Meehan, and calling for passage of 
legislation to reform the CAA.
    On April 4, 2018, the Committee announced that, pursuant to 
Committee Rule 18(a), it would continue to review allegations 
referred by the OCE that Representative John J. Duncan, Jr. 
converted campaign funds for personal use and failed to ensure 
his campaign committee complied with applicable laws regarding 
contributions from employees.
    On April 12, 2018, the Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the 
Committee, in consultation and with unanimous agreement of the 
full Committee, released a statement regarding the 
investigation into allegations regarding Representative Blake 
Farenthold, noting that Representative Farenthold had resigned 
from Congress and, accordingly, the ISC no longer had 
jurisdiction over him and the Committee would take no further 
action.
    On June 28, 2018, the Committee announced it had 
unanimously voted to establish an ISC to investigate 
allegations that Representative David Schweikert, and/or his 
Chief of Staff, Mr. Oliver Schwab, misused official resources; 
Representative Schweikert accepted improper campaign 
contributions from Mr. Schwab and other individuals employed in 
his congressional office; Mr. Schwab received outside earned 
income in excess of amounts permitted by House Rules and 
federal law; and that Mr. Schwab failed to file full and 
complete financial disclosure statements.
    On July 26, 2018, the Committee transmitted a Report to the 
House regarding the arrest during a protest of Representative 
Pramila Jayapal.
    On August 10, 2018, the Committee transmitted a Report to 
the House regarding allegations relating to Representative 
Markwayne Mullin.
    On September 6, 2018, the Committee announced that, 
pursuant to Committee Rule 18(e)(2), it had unanimously voted 
to establish an ISC to review allegations that Representative 
Chris Collins engaged in unlawful conspiracy, securities fraud, 
and wire fraud; purchased discount stock that was not available 
to the public; took official actions on behalf of a company in 
which he had a significant financial interest; and made false 
statements to, withheld information from, or otherwise misled 
federal investigators. Following precedent, the Committee 
unanimously voted to defer consideration on its investigation 
in response to a request from DOJ.
    On September 6, 2018, the Committee announced that, 
pursuant to Committee Rule 18(e)(2), it had unanimously voted 
to establish an ISC to review allegations that Representative 
Duncan Hunter engaged in unlawful conspiracy, fraud, 
falsification of campaign finance records, and prohibited use 
of campaign contributions. Following precedent, the Committee 
unanimously voted to defer consideration on its investigation 
in response to a request from DOJ.
    On November 16, 2018, the Committee transmitted a Report to 
the House regarding allegations relating to Representative Mark 
Meadows.
    On November 16, 2018, the Committee transmitted a Report to 
the House regarding allegations relating to Representative 
Ruben Kihuen.
    On December 4, 2018, the Committee announced that, pursuant 
to Committee Rule 18(a), it would continue to review 
allegations referred by the OCE that Representative Thomas 
Garrett used his congressional staff to perform unofficial work 
and personal errands.
    On December 17, 2018, the Committee announced that, 
pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a), it would continue to review 
allegations referred by the OCE that Representative Rod Blum 
omitted required information from his financial disclosure 
reports, permitted the use of official resources to support a 
private business in which he held a financial interest, and 
permitted a private business in which he held a financial 
interest to employ fair or deceptive trade practices.
    On December 20, 2018, the Committee transmitted a Report to 
the House regarding allegations relating to Representative 
Elizabeth Esty.
    On December 20, 2018, the Committee unanimously voted to 
expand the jurisdiction of the ISC's inquiry regarding 
Representative David Schweikert to include allegations that 
Representative Schweikert used official resources to benefit 
his campaign or pressured congressional staff to perform 
political activity, authorized compensation to an employee who 
did not perform duties commensurate with his House employment, 
received loans or gifts from a congressional employee, and 
omitted required information from his annual House financial 
disclosure statements and Federal Election Commission candidate 
committee reports.
    On January 2, 2019, the Chairwoman and Ranking Member of 
the Committee released a statement regarding Representative 
Thomas Garrett.
    These investigative matters are described in more detail 
below, in alphabetical order. Copies of all of the Committee's 
public statements related to these matters are included as 
Appendix IV to this Report. Those statements, along with any 
attachments referenced in the statements, are available on the 
Committee's website. All of the Committee's Reports as filed 
with the House are also available on the Committee's website.

In the Matter of Allegations Relating to Representative Rod Blum

    On July 19, 2018, the OCE forwarded to the Committee a 
Report and Findings in which it recommended further review of 
allegations that Representative Rod Blum may have violated 
federal law, House rules, and other standards of conduct when 
he omitted required information from his financial disclosure 
reports; permitted the use of official House resources to 
support or promote a private business in which he holds a 
financial interest; and permitted a private business in which 
he holds a financial interest to employ unfair or deceptive 
trade practices. The Committee released the OCE Report and 
Findings, along with Representative Blum's response, on 
December 17, 2018, and noted in a public statement that the 
Committee was continuing to review the allegations pursuant to 
Committee Rule 18(a).
    At the conclusion of the 115th Congress the Committee had 
not completed its investigation into this matter. 
Representative Blum lost his bid for reelection to the House, 
and the Committee will no longer have jurisdiction over him 
after January 3, 2019.

In the Matter of Allegations Relating to Delegate Madeleine Bordallo

    On June 12, 2017, the OCE forwarded to the Committee a 
Report and Findings in which it recommended further review of 
allegations that Delegate Madeleine Bordallo may have violated 
federal law, House rules, and other standards of conduct when 
she received rental profit from the Japanese Consulate in 
Hagatna, Guam, for property she owns in Tamuning, Guam; 
accepted gifts of free lodging, meals and amenities at the 
Outrigger Guam Beach Resort; and used official funds to pay for 
lodging and meals at the Outrigger Guam Beach Resort while in 
her home district. The OCE also reviewed an allegation that 
Delegate Bordallo used official resources for personal purposes 
to the extent that her congressional staff, during official 
time, performed personal services for her in connection with 
her rental property and the Miss World Guam Pageant, but the 
OCE recommended the Committee dismiss that allegation. The 
Committee released the OCE Report and Findings, along with 
Delegate Bordallo's response, on September 11, 2017, and noted 
in a public statement that the Committee was continuing to 
review the allegations pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a).
    At the conclusion of the 115th Congress the Committee had 
not completed its investigation into this matter. Delegate 
Bordallo lost her bid for reelection to the House and the 
Committee will not have jurisdiction over her after January 3, 
2019.

In the Matter of Allegations Relating to Representative Chris Collins

    On July 14, 2017, the OCE forwarded to the Committee a 
Report and Findings in which it recommended further review of 
allegations that Representative Chris Collins may have violated 
federal law, House rules, and other standards of conduct by 
sharing material nonpublic information in the purchase of stock 
of a company for which he served on the board, and by taking 
official actions or requesting official actions that would 
assist a single entity in which he had a significant financial 
interest. The OCE also reviewed allegations that Representative 
Collins purchased discounted stock that was not available to 
the public and that was offered to him based on his status as a 
Member of the House, in violation of House rules, standards of 
conduct, and federal law, but the OCE recommended the Committee 
dismiss that allegation. The Committee released the OCE Report 
and Findings, along with Representative Collins's response, on 
October 12, 2017, and noted in a public statement that the 
Committee was continuing to review the allegations pursuant to 
Committee Rule 18(a).
    On August 8, 2018, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern 
District of New York filed an indictment against Representative 
Collins in federal district court, charging him with 
conspiracy, securities fraud, wire fraud, and making false 
statements. On September 6, 2018, the Committee unanimously 
voted to establish an ISC to determine whether Representative 
Collins violated the Code of Official Conduct or any law, rule, 
regulation, or other applicable standard of conduct in the 
performance of his duties or the discharge of his 
responsibilities, with respect to allegations that he engaged 
in unlawful conspiracy, securities fraud, and wire fraud; 
purchased discount stock that was not available to the public; 
took official actions on behalf of a company in which he had a 
significant financial interest; and made false statements to, 
withheld information from, or otherwise misled federal 
investigators. The Committee, following precedent, unanimously 
recommended to the ISC that it defer action on its 
investigation in response to a request from DOJ. Proceedings in 
federal court are pending.
    At the conclusion of the 115th Congress, the Committee 
continues to defer its investigation of this matter at the 
request of DOJ. Representative Collins was reelected to the 
House for the 116th Congress.

In the Matter of Allegations Relating to Michael Collins

    On May 11, 2017, the OCE forwarded to the Committee a 
Report and Findings in which it recommended further review of 
allegations that Michael Collins, an employee of the House, may 
have violated House rules and other standards of conduct when 
he improperly received compensation for practicing a profession 
that involved a fiduciary relationship with a campaign 
committee and for serving as an officer to a campaign 
committee, and that Mr. Collins may have received outside 
income in excess of the outside earned income limit applicable 
to senior staff. The Committee released the OCE Report and 
Findings, along with Mr. Collins' response, on August 9, 2017, 
and noted in a public statement that the Committee was 
continuing to review the allegations pursuant to Committee Rule 
18(a).
    At the conclusion of the 115th Congress, the Committee had 
not completed its investigation into this matter. Mr. Collins 
remains employed by the House for the 116th Congress.

In the Matter of Allegations Relating to Representative John Conyers, 
        Jr.

    On May 11, 2017, the OCE transmitted to the Committee a 
Report and Findings in which it recommended further review of 
allegations that Representative John Conyers, Jr. may have 
violated federal law, House rules, and other standards of 
conduct when he paid compensation to his former Chief of Staff 
during a period of time in 2016 in which she may not have 
performed any official work for his congressional office. On 
August 6, 2017, the Committee released the OCE Report and 
Findings, along with Representative Conyers' response, and 
noted in a public statement that it was continuing to review 
the allegations pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a).
    On November 21, 2017, the Chairwoman and Ranking Member 
announced that the Committee was aware of public allegations 
that Representative Conyers may have engaged in sexual 
harassment of members of his staff, discriminated against 
certain staff on the basis of age, and used official resources 
for impermissible personal purposes. Pursuant to Committee Rule 
18(a), the Committee began an investigation regarding those 
allegations. On December 4, 2017, Representative Conyers 
announced his resignation from the House, effective December 5, 
2017, at which time the Committee lost jurisdiction to continue 
its investigations.

In the Matter of Allegations Relating to Representative John J. Duncan, 
        Jr.

    On January 4, 2018, the OCE forwarded to the Committee a 
Report and Findings in which it recommended further review of 
allegations that Representative John J. Duncan, Jr.'s campaign 
committee and leadership PAC expended funds that were not 
attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes, and 
Representative Duncan failed to ensure that his campaign 
committee complied with applicable laws regarding contributions 
from employees, in violation of federal law, House rules, and 
other standards of conduct.
    On April 4, 2018, the Committee released the OCE Report and 
Findings, along with Representative Duncan's response, and 
noted in a public statement that the Committee was continuing 
to review the allegations pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a).
    As of the conclusion of the 115th Congress, the Committee 
had not completed its investigation into this matter. 
Representative Duncan did not run for reelection to the House 
for the 116th Congress, and the Committee will not have 
jurisdiction over him after January 3, 2019.

In the Matter of Allegations Relating to Representative Elizabeth 
        Esty\28\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \28\Comm. on Ethics, In the Matter of Allegations Relating to 
Elizabeth Esty, H. Rept. 115-1093, 115th Cong. 2d Sess. (2018).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On April 2, 2018, Representative Esty sent a letter to the 
Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the Committee requesting that 
the Committee, pursuant to Committee Rule 18(c), review the 
circumstances surrounding her dismissal of her former Chief of 
Staff, Tony Baker, and determine whether there was any 
wrongdoing on her part. Representative Esty terminated Mr. 
Baker's employment in her office in 2016 pursuant to a 
confidential severance and release agreement after 
Representative Esty conducted an investigation into his 
behavior, including allegations that he harassed and abused a 
former female staffer.
    The Committee investigated Representative Esty's handling 
of Mr. Baker's conduct and specifically considered whether 
Representative Esty failed to take appropriate steps to prevent 
and correct Mr. Baker's misconduct, or improperly paid Mr. 
Baker a lump sum severance payment upon his termination. The 
Committee concluded that, while Representative Esty could have 
better handled the investigation into Mr. Baker's behavior and 
his termination, her actions did not warrant any further action 
by the Committee. The Committee noted Representative Esty 
sought and relied upon legal guidance from the Office of House 
Employment Counsel.
    On December 20, 2018, the Committee submitted a Report to 
the House of Representatives describing the facts and its 
findings in this matter, as well as its determination to take 
no further action in this matter.

In the Matter of Allegations Relating to Representative Blake 
        Farenthold

    On June 29, 2015, the OCE forwarded to the Committee a 
Report and Findings regarding whether Representative Blake 
Farenthold sexually harassed a former member of his staff, 
discriminated against her on the basis of her gender, and 
retaliated against her for complaining about the alleged 
unlawful treatment in violation of federal law, House Rule 
XXIII, clause 9, and the CAA. In its referral, the OCE 
unanimously recommended the Committee dismiss the matter. On 
September 28, 2015, the Committee released the OCE Report and 
announced, due to the seriousness of the allegations referred 
by the OCE, it would continue to review the allegations under 
Committee Rule 18(a).
    On December 7, 2017, the Committee announced it had voted 
to establish an ISC with jurisdiction to investigate the 
allegations referred by the OCE, as well as allegations that 
Representative Farenthold made inappropriate statements to 
other members of his official staff. The Committee determined 
to take that action based upon a discretionary review of the 
allegations, as well as the evidence obtained pursuant to 
Committee Rule 18(a).
    On December 21, 2017, the Committee voted unanimously to 
expand the jurisdiction of the ISC's inquiry to include: (1) 
allegations of sexual harassment, discrimination, or 
retaliation by Representative Farenthold, or any person acting 
on his behalf, toward any member of his congressional staff 
while they were employed in his congressional office; (2) 
allegations that Representative Farenthold's congressional 
staff may have used House resources, including staff time, to 
benefit his congressional campaigns; (3) allegations that 
Representative Farenthold, or any person acting on his behalf, 
may have required members of his congressional staff to work on 
his congressional campaigns; and (4) allegations that 
Representative Farenthold may have made false statements or 
omissions in testimony to the Committee.
    The ISC expeditiously investigated the allegations within 
its jurisdiction. In addition to reviewing the evidence 
obtained pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a), the ISC issued and 
received responses to seven requests for information, reviewed 
approximately 12,000 pages of documents, and interviewed six 
witnesses. The ISC provided an opportunity for Representative 
Farenthold to appear for a voluntary interview, but he declined 
to do so in the time frame offered by the ISC; he did present a 
written statement regarding the allegations.
    Pursuant to Committee Rule 26(c), on March 30, 2018, the 
ISC informed Representative Farenthold it had scheduled a vote 
on a Statement of Alleged Violation in this matter, to occur on 
April 11, 2018.
    On April 6, 2018, Representative Farenthold resigned from 
the House, at which time the ISC and the Committee lost 
jurisdiction to continue the investigation.

In the Matter of Allegations Relating to Representative Trent Franks

    On December 7, 2017, the Committee unanimously voted to 
establish an ISC to determine whether Representative Trent 
Franks violated federal law, House rules, and other standards 
of conduct with respect to allegations that he engaged in 
conduct that constituted sexual harassment and/or retaliation 
for opposing sexual harassment.
    Representative Franks resigned from the House on December 
8, 2017, at which time the ISC and the Committee lost 
jurisdiction to continue its investigation.

In the Matter of Allegations Relating to Representative Thomas Garrett

    On June 6, 2018, the Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the 
Committee authorized an investigation, pursuant to Committee 
Rule 18(a), into allegations that Representative Thomas Garrett 
may have improperly required, requested, or allowed members of 
his official staff to perform non-official, personal tasks for 
his or his wife's personal benefit. While the Committee's 
investigation was underway, on June 14, 2018, the OCE informed 
the Committee that it had initiated a preliminary review 
regarding Representative Garrett's use of official resources.
    On September 5, 2018, the OCE forwarded to the Committee a 
Report and Findings in which it recommended further review of 
allegations that Representative Garrett misused official 
resources by having congressional staff perform unofficial work 
and personal errands on his behalf. The OCE Report and Findings 
recommended dismissal of allegations that an employee in 
Representative Garrett's congressional office may have 
performed personal errands on his behalf while being paid by 
his congressional campaign committee.
    On December 4, 2018, the Committee released the OCE Report 
and Findings, along with Representative Garrett's response. On 
January 2, 2019, the Chairwoman and Ranking Member issued a 
public statement and released a report of the Committee's 
nonpartisan, professional staff providing further detail on 
Committee staff's review of the allegations and their factual 
findings. Representative Garrett did not run for reelection to 
the House for the 116th Congress, and the Committee will not 
have jurisdiction over him after January 3, 2019.

In the Matter of Allegations Relating to Representative Luis V. 
        Gutierrez (Protest Arrest)\29\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \29\Comm. on Ethics, In the Matter of Allegations Relating to 
Representative Luis V. Gutierrez, H. Rept. 115-310, 115th Cong. 1st 
Sess. (2017).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In accordance with the requirements of Committee Rule 
18(e)(2), the Committee convened on September 13, 2017, to 
consider the arrest of Representative Luis V. Gutierrez for 
incommoding or unlawful assembly during a protest outside the 
White House in Washington, D.C., on August 15, 2017. 
Representative Gutierrez paid a $50 fine and was released 
following his arrest. The legal proceedings related to 
Representative Gutierrez's arrest were thus resolved.
    After reviewing and considering this matter, the Committee 
voted against impaneling an ISC related to the conduct of 
Representative Gutierrez. In reaching this decision, the 
Committee considered the scope and nature of the violations, 
and determined it to be one for which review by an ISC was not 
warranted.
    On September 14, 2017, the Committee submitted a Report to 
the House describing the facts and its findings regarding this 
matter.

In the Matter of Allegations Relating to Representative Luis V. 
        Gutierrez (Use of Official Funds)\30\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \30\Comm. on Ethics, In the Matter of Allegations Relating to 
Representative Luis V. Gutierrez, H. Rept. 115-617, 115th Cong. 2d 
Sess. (2018).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On December 4, 2013, the OCE forwarded to the Committee in 
the 113th Congress a Report and Findings in which it 
recommended further review of allegations that Representative 
Luis V. Gutierrez impermissibly used his Members' 
Representational Allowance (MRA) to pay his former Chief of 
Staff Doug Scofield, through his firm Scofield Communications, 
for services that may not be paid for using MRA funds. The OCE 
found substantial reason to believe Representative Gutierrez 
used funds from his MRA for an impermissible purpose--to retain 
Mr. Scofield to provide services to his congressional office 
that more closely resembled those provided by an employee or 
consultant, rather than a contractor--in violation of federal 
law, CHA regulations, and House rules. The OCE also discussed 
an allegation that Representative Gutierrez may have 
impermissibly granted special favors or benefits to entities 
that retained Scofield Communications as a lobbyist while the 
firm contracted with the Member's office, but did not find 
substantial reason to believe the allegation.
    On May 5, 2014, the Committee released the OCE Report and 
Findings, along with Representative Gutierrez's response, and 
noted in a public statement that the Committee was continuing 
to review the allegations pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a).
    The Committee's extensive investigation included interviews 
of sixteen witnesses, including current and former members of 
Representative Gutierrez's staff, current and former CHA staff 
who consulted Representative Gutierrez's staff on the Scofield 
contract, Mr. Scofield, and Representative Gutierrez. The 
Committee also collected over 10,000 pages of documents, 
including submissions by Representative Gutierrez.
    On March 22, 2018, the Committee in the 115th Congress 
unanimously voted to release a Report, which served as a 
reproval of Representative Gutierrez for his conduct.
    In its Report, the Committee found no evidence that Mr. 
Scofield received special privileges on behalf of his firm's 
clients, or that Mr. Scofield ever lobbied Representative 
Gutierrez or his staff on behalf of any Scofield Communications 
client.
    The Committee found that, even though an overwhelming 
majority of the work Mr. Scofield performed did accord with the 
terms of Scofield Communications' contract with Representative 
Gutierrez's office, Mr. Scofield occasionally performed work 
that was either ``legislative'' in nature or otherwise exceeded 
the scope of that contract. Thus, the Committee concluded that 
Representative Gutierrez impermissibly used MRA funds to pay 
Mr. Scofield for some work exceeding the contract's scope, and 
the limits of what a contractor retained to provide services to 
a Member's congressional office may do, as defined by CHA. The 
Committee also concluded that the resulting violations, though 
unintentional, were significant enough to warrant a reproval.
    In its Report, the Committee noted that Representative 
Gutierrez was required to reimburse the U.S. Treasury for 
misspent MRA funds. While the Committee was unable to quantify 
the impermissible work or the associated MRA payments with 
exact precision, the Committee calculated a reimbursement 
amount, based on conservative estimation, of $9,700, or 
approximately three percent of the total payments from 
Representative Gutierrez's MRA to Scofield Communications from 
September 2007 until the contract's termination in June 2013. 
In December 2018, Representative Gutierrez's counsel informed 
the Committee that Representative Gutierrez fully intends to 
repay the amount and has taken steps towards effectuating that 
repayment.

In the Matter of Allegations Relating to Representative Duncan Hunter

    On August 31, 2016, the OCE forwarded to the Committee a 
Report and Findings in which it recommended further review of 
allegations that Representative Duncan Hunter may have violated 
federal law, House rules, and other standards of conduct by 
converting campaign funds to personal use. On March 23, 2017, 
the Committee announced that, following precedent, the 
Committee had voted unanimously to defer its review at the 
request of DOJ. The Committee made the OCE Report, but not its 
Findings, public at that time. On March 23, 2018, the Committee 
announced that it was continuing to defer its consideration of 
the matter at the request of DOJ.
    On August 21, 2018, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern 
District of California filed an indictment against 
Representative Hunter in federal district court charging him 
with conspiracy, wire fraud, falsifying campaign finance 
records, prohibited use of campaign contributions, and false 
statements. On September 6, 2018, the Committee unanimously 
voted to establish an ISC with jurisdiction to investigate 
allegations that Representative Hunter engaged in unlawful 
conspiracy, fraud, falsification of campaign finance records, 
and prohibited use of campaign contributions. The Committee, 
following precedent, unanimously recommended to the ISC that it 
defer consideration of the matter in response to the request 
from DOJ.
    At the conclusion of the 115th Congress, the Committee 
continues to defer its investigation of this matter at the 
request of DOJ. Representative Hunter was reelected to the 
House for the 116th Congress.

In the Matter of Allegations Relating to Representative Ruben 
        Kihuen\31\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \31\Comm. on Ethics, In the Matter of Allegations Relating to 
Representative Ruben Kihuen, H. Rept. 115-1041, 115th Cong. 2d Sess. 
(2018).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On December 21, 2017, the Committee unanimously voted to 
establish an ISC to investigate allegations that Representative 
Ruben Kihuen engaged in conduct that constitutes sexual 
harassment, in violation of House Rules, law, regulations, or 
other standards of conduct.
    Over a nine-month period, the ISC reviewed over 2,700 pages 
of documents and interviewed twelve witnesses, including 
several women who publicly raised allegations against 
Representative Kihuen, corroborating witnesses, members of 
Representative Kihuen's campaign and congressional staffs, 
character witnesses proffered by Representative Kihuen, and 
Representative Kihuen himself. On September 26, 2018, the ISC 
transmitted a Report to the full Committee finding that 
Representative Kihuen made persistent and unwanted advances 
toward women who were required to interact with him as part of 
their professional responsibilities, and recommending that the 
Committee reprove Representative Kihuen.
    On November 15, 2018, the Committee voted to adopt the 
ISC's Report and release its own Report, with both serving as a 
reproval of Representative Kihuen. On the basis of 
Representative Kihuen's conduct towards employees of a firm 
working for his re-election campaign in 2017 and a staffer on 
his first successful campaign for Congress in 2016, the 
Committee determined that Representative Kihuen acted in a 
manner that did not reflect creditably upon the House and was 
contrary to the spirit of House rules prohibiting sexual 
harassment, in violation of House Rule XXIII, clauses 1 and 2.

In the Matter of Allegations Relating to Representative Pramila 
        Jayapal\32\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \32\Comm. on Ethics, In the Matter of Allegations Relating to 
Representative Pramila Jayapal, H. Rept. 115-876, 115th Cong. 2d Sess. 
(2018).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In accordance with the requirements of and Committee Rule 
18(e)(2), the Committee convened on July 25, 2018, to consider 
the arrest of Representative Pramila Jayapal for crowding, 
obstructing, or incommoding, during a protest inside a Senate 
Office Building in Washington, D.C., on June 28, 2018. 
Representative Jayapal forfeited a $50 collateral payment, 
whereupon the local court disposed of the charge. The legal 
proceedings related to Representative Jayapal's arrest were 
thus resolved.
    After reviewing and considering this matter, the Committee 
voted against impaneling an ISC related to the conduct of 
Representative Jayapal. In reaching this decision, the 
Committee considered the scope and nature of the violations, 
and determined it to be one for which review by an ISC was not 
warranted.
    On July 26, 2018, the Committee submitted a Report to the 
House describing the facts and its findings regarding this 
matter.

In the Matter of Allegations Relating to Representative Ben Ray 
        Lujan\33\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \33\Comm. on Ethics, In the Matter of Allegations Relating to 
Representative Ben Ray Lujan, H. Rept. 115-272, 115th Cong. 1st Sess. 
(2017).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On May 11, 2017, the OCE forwarded to the Committee a 
Report and Findings in which it recommended further review of 
allegations that Representative Ben Ray Lujan may have violated 
House rules, laws, and other standards of conduct by allegedly 
conducting campaign or political activity from the House floor, 
soliciting a campaign contribution from a federal building, 
and/or using an image of a House floor proceeding for campaign 
or political purposes.
    The Committee investigated the allegations and concluded 
that there was insufficient evidence to support the allegations 
that Representative Lujan engaged in campaign or political 
activity, or solicited campaign contributions, from the House 
floor or any other federal building. The Committee did find 
that Representative Lujan's campaign consultant used an image 
of House proceedings from the House recording system, without 
Representative Lujan's knowledge, which is a technical 
violation of House Rule V, clause 2(c)(1). While Members are 
ultimately responsible for actions taken on their behalf by 
third parties, the Committee concluded that given the limited 
nature of the violation, as well as Representative Lujan's 
subsequent efforts to prevent any recurrence of the violation, 
a sanction was not warranted. Accordingly, the Committee 
unanimously voted to dismiss the matter and to take no further 
action.
    On August 1, 2017, the Committee submitted a Report to the 
House describing the facts and its findings in this matter, as 
well as its determination to take no further action in this 
matter.

In the Matter of Allegations Relating to Representative Cathy McMorris 
        Rodgers

    On December 23, 2013, the OCE forwarded to the Committee a 
Report and Findings in which it recommended further review of 
allegations that Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers may have 
violated federal law, House rules, and other standards of 
conduct by using House resources for campaign activity and 
combining campaign and House resources for her campaign for a 
House leadership position. The Committee released the OCE 
Report and Findings, along with Representative McMorris 
Rodgers' response, on March 24, 2014, and noted in a public 
statement that the Committee was continuing to review the 
allegations pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a).
    As of the conclusion of the 115th Congress the Committee 
had not completed its investigation into this matter. 
Representative McMorris Rodgers was reelected to the House for 
the 116th Congress.

In the Matter of Allegations Relating to Representative Mark 
        Meadows\34\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \34\Comm. on Ethics, In the Matter of Allegations Relating to 
Representative Mark Meadows, H. Rept. 115-1042, 115th Cong. 2d Sess. 
(2018).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On October 26, 2015, OCE notified the Committee that it had 
begun a preliminary review of allegations regarding 
Representative Mark Meadows and payments he made to his former 
Chief of Staff, Kenny West from May 21, 2015, when Mr. West 
resigned from Representative Meadows' office through August 15, 
2015. On November 18, 2015, in the 114th Congress, 
Representative Meadows sent a letter to the then-Chairman and 
Ranking Member of the Committee requesting the Committee review 
his decision to continue paying Mr. West during the same time 
period. Representative Meadows also told the Committee he 
declined to cooperate with a concurrent review the OCE was 
conducting into this issue.
    On March 18, 2016, the OCE forwarded to the Committee a 
Report and Findings in which it recommended further review of 
allegations that Representative Meadows violated federal law, 
House rules and other standards of conduct when he retained an 
employee who did not perform duties commensurate with the 
compensation the employee received, and certified that the 
compensation met applicable House standards. The OCE Report and 
Findings included evidence that, in October 2014, several 
female employees in Representative Meadows' congressional 
office made complaints to him of inappropriate behavior by Mr. 
West, including unwanted touching, inappropriate staring and 
unprofessional comments. Following those reports, 
Representative Meadows restricted Mr. West from his 
congressional offices and from contacting female employees. 
However, Mr. West remained Chief of Staff until April 2015 when 
his title was changed to Senior Advisor. Despite the change in 
his title and loss of supervisory responsibilities, Mr. West 
continued to receive the same salary from the House until 
August 15, 2015, a portion of which was ``severance.''
    On August 17, 2016, the Committee released the OCE Report 
and Findings, along with Representative Meadows's response, and 
noted in a public statement that the Committee was continuing 
to review the allegations pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a).
    During the 114th and 115th Congresses, the Committee 
reviewed whether Representative Meadows violated any federal 
law, House rules, or other standards of conduct when he 
continued to pay Mr. West his full salary after his female 
staff made allegations of inappropriate behavior against Mr. 
West. The Committee also considered whether Representative 
Meadows exercised reasonable care to prevent and promptly 
correct Mr. West's inappropriate behavior after he learned 
about it.
    On November 15, 2018, the Committee voted unanimously to 
submit a Report to the House which served as a reproval of 
Representative Meadows for his conduct. In its Report, the 
Committee found that, during the time Mr. West was Chief of 
Staff after the allegations had been made against him, it was 
generally within Representative Meadows' discretion as the 
employing Member to change the terms and conditions of Mr. 
West's employment. However, the Committee found that when Mr. 
West was demoted to Senior Advisor, and when he was being paid 
``severance,'' his duties were not commensurate with his pay, 
in violation of House Rule XXIII, clause 8. The Committee 
directed Representative Meadows to reimburse the U.S. Treasury 
for the impermissible overpayment of Mr. West in the amount of 
$40,625.02, in accordance with House regulations and Committee 
precedent.
    With regard to Representative Meadows' handling of the 
alleged inappropriate behavior in his office, the Committee 
found Representative Meadows did not know about Mr. West's 
behavior until October 2014, when several of his female staff 
made complaints to him. In its Report, the Committee noted once 
Representative Meadows became aware of Mr. West's behavior, he 
should have done more to address that behavior and prevent it 
from occurring again in the future. The Committee found that 
while Representative Meadows took some important immediate 
steps after learning about the inappropriate behavior, such as 
prohibiting Mr. West from entering the congressional offices 
and contacting female staff, and requesting an independent 
investigation, those steps were essentially all he did for 
nearly six months. The Committee found that Representative 
Meadows was ultimately responsible for ensuring that his office 
was free from discrimination and any perception of 
discrimination and that he failed to adequately do so, in 
violation of clauses 1 and 2 of House Rule XXIII.

In the Matter of Allegations Relating to Representative Patrick Meehan

    On January 20, 2018, Representative Patrick Meehan wrote a 
letter to the Committee's Chairwoman, in which he requested 
that the Committee review the matter ``[i]n light of the media 
reports regarding the settlement reached between his office and 
the former employee.'' On January 22, 2018, the Committee 
issued a public statement, noting that it had initiated a 
review of the allegations against Representative Meehan, 
pursuant to Committee Rules 18(a) and 18(c). The statement also 
noted that Representative Meehan was no longer a member of the 
Committee.
    On February 27, 2018, the Committee unanimously voted to 
establish an ISC to investigate whether Representative Meehan 
and/or his Chief of Staff, Brian Schubert, engaged in conduct 
that constituted sexual harassment, retaliation, or misuse of 
official resources, in violation of House Rules, law, 
regulations, or other standards of conduct. Over the course of 
its investigation, the ISC authorized the issuance of three 
subpoenas and collected over 100 pages of information, 
including communications between Representative Meehan and the 
former staffer.
    On February 28, 2018, Mr. Schubert resigned from his 
employment in the House, at which time the ISC and Committee 
lost their jurisdiction over him. On April 27, 2018, 
Representative Meehan announced his immediate resignation from 
the House, at which time the ISC and Committee lost their 
jurisdiction to continue the investigation.
    In his official statement announcing his resignation, 
Representative Meehan stated he would reimburse the U.S. 
Treasury approximately $39,000, within 30 days of his 
resignation, for the severance payment made from his MRA to the 
former staffer. The Committee subsequently received evidence 
from Representative Meehan's counsel that reimbursement of the 
severance payment was completed on May 18, 2018.

In the Matter of Allegations Relating to Representative Markwayne 
        Mullin\35\
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    \35\Comm. on Ethics, In the Matter of Allegations Relating to 
Representative Markwayne Mullin, H. Rept. 115-898, 115th Cong. 2d Sess. 
(2018).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On December 23, 2013, the OCE forwarded to the Committee a 
Report and Findings in which it recommended further review of 
allegations that Representative Markwayne Mullin violated 
federal law, House rules and other standards of conduct when he 
personally endorsed goods or services provided by companies he 
or his family owned; received outside earned income, in excess 
of the applicable limits, from those companies; and served as a 
director and/or officer of the companies for compensation. The 
Committee released the OCE Report and Findings, along with 
Representative Mullin's response, on March 24, 2014, and noted 
in a public statement that the Committee was continuing to 
review the allegations pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a).
    On August 10, 2018, the Committee voted to submit a Report 
to the House and take no further action against Representative 
Mullin. In its Report, the Committee noted the allegations 
raised several novel questions regarding the application of 
House rules and other standards of conduct to a Member's 
efforts to maintain and promote a family business. The 
Committee found that Representative Mullin participated in 
advertisements on behalf of companies he or his family owned 
after he became a Member, and received payments from those 
companies during that time. However, the Committee determined 
that Representative Mullin made a good faith effort to seek the 
Committee's informal guidance on numerous issues with respect 
to his family business and, to the extent Representative Mullin 
complied with the Committee's advice, it would be inequitable 
to subject his conduct to additional review. In its Report, the 
Committee noted its belief that the House would be better 
served by different guidance with respect to Member 
participation in advertisements, and clarified that, going 
forward, the Committee's guidance is that a Member should under 
no circumstances be actively involved in a personally selling 
or endorsing goods or services in which the Member has a 
financial interest.\36\ The Committee also reiterated its 
longstanding guidance that, if a Member performs personal 
services for an S-Corporation business that generate 
significant income for the business, including participating in 
advertisements, then some part of the payments the Member 
receives from the business may be deemed earned income.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \36\On August 24, 2018, the Committee issued a memorandum further 
articulating this clarification and expansion of its previous guidance. 
See Comm. on Ethics, Guidance on Personal Endorsement or Promotion by 
Members of the House of Representatives (Aug. 24, 2018), available at 
https://ethics.house.gov/sites/ethics.house.gov/files/
Personal%20Endorsement%20Pink%20 Sheet.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee also determined that an accounting error led 
Representative Mullin to inadvertently receive $40,000 from his 
former company, after he transferred ownership of that company 
to his spouse. The Committee found that, to bring himself into 
full compliance with the Committee's guidance, Representative 
Mullin must return $40,000 to that company. The Committee found 
no evidence that Representative Mullin received compensation 
for his service as an officer or director of his family's 
companies.

In the Matter of Allegations Relating to Representative Devin Nunes

    On April 6, 2017, the Committee announced that it was aware 
of public allegations that Representative Devin Nunes may have 
made unauthorized disclosures of classified information, in 
violation of House Rules, law, regulations, or other standards 
of conduct, and that the Committee, pursuant to Committee Rule 
18(a), was investigating and gathering more information 
regarding these allegations. In the course of this 
investigation, the Committee sought the analysis of 
Representative Nunes's statements by classification experts in 
the Intelligence Community. Based solely on the conclusion of 
those classification experts that Representative Nunes's 
statements did not disclose classified information, the 
Committee closed its investigation on December 7, 2017.

In the Matter of Allegations Relating to Representative Robert 
        Pittenger

    On November 18, 2015, the Committee unanimously voted to 
impanel an ISC with jurisdiction to determine whether 
Representative Robert Pittenger violated the Code of Official 
Conduct or any law, rule, regulation, or other applicable 
standard of conduct in the performance of his duties or the 
discharge of his responsibilities, with respect to allegations 
that he received compensation for his involvement with a 
fiduciary business, a real estate investment firm known as 
Pittenger Land Investments, Inc. The Committee, following 
precedent, unanimously recommended to the ISC that it defer 
action on its investigation at that time in response to a 
request from DOJ.
    In March 2017, DOJ closed its investigation of 
Representative Pittenger. As of the conclusion of the 115th 
Congress the Committee had not completed its investigation into 
this matter. Representative Pittenger lost his bid for 
reelection to the House and the Committee will no longer have 
jurisdiction over him after January 3, 2019.

In the Matter Regarding the Arrests of Members of the House During a 
        Protest Outside the United States Capitol on December 6, 
        2017\37\
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    \37\Comm. on Ethics, In the Matter Regarding the Arrests of Members 
of the House During a Protest Outside the United States Capitol on 
December 6, 2017, H. Rept. 115-482, 115th Cong. 1st Sess. (2017).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In accordance with the requirements of Committee Rule 
18(e)(2), the Committee convened on December 21, 2017, to 
consider the arrest of Representatives Judy Chu and Luis V. 
Gutierrez for crowding, obstructing, or incommoding during a 
protest outside the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., 
on December 6, 2017. Representatives Chu and Gutierrez each 
forfeited a $50 collateral payment, whereupon the local court 
disposed of the charge. The legal proceedings related to these 
arrests were thus resolved.
    After reviewing and considering this matter, the Committee 
voted against impaneling an ISC related to the conduct of the 
Representatives. In reaching this decision, the Committee 
considered the scope and nature of the violations, and 
determined them to be ones for which review by an ISC was not 
warranted.
    On December 21, 2017, the Committee submitted a Report to 
the House describing the facts and its findings regarding this 
matter.

In the Matter of Allegations Relating to Representative Jim Renacci

    On August 9, 2018, the OCE forwarded to the Committee a 
Report and Findings regarding Representative Jim Renacci.
    At the conclusion of the 115th Congress, the Committee had 
not completed its investigation into this matter. 
Representative Renacci did not run for reelection to the House 
for the 116th Congress, and the Committee will not have 
jurisdiction over him after January 3, 2019.

In the Matter of Allegations Relating to Representative Bobby L. 
        Rush\38\
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    \38\Comm. on Ethics, In the Matter of Allegations Relating to 
Representative Bobby L. Rush, H. Rept. 115-618, 115th Cong. 2d Sess. 
(2018).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On June 10, 2014, the OCE forwarded to the Committee a 
Report and Findings in which it recommended further review of 
allegations that Representative Bobby L. Rush may have violated 
House rules and standards of conduct when he received unpaid 
usage of office space. The OCE Report and Findings recommended 
dismissal of separate allegations that Representative Rush 
improperly converted campaign funds to personal use. The 
Committee released the OCE Report and Findings, along with 
Representative Rush's response, on November 10, 2014, and noted 
in a public statement that the Committee was continuing to 
review the allegations pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a).
    Following its investigation, the Committee concluded that 
Representative Rush accepted a gift of rent-free office space, 
in violation of House rules and federal law. The Committee 
determined Representative Rush exceeded the gift limit by 
$14,610. The Committee concluded that Representative Rush did 
not violate laws or House Rules that prohibit the conversion of 
campaign funds to personal use.
    On March 22, 2018, the Committee submitted a Report to the 
House describing the facts and its findings in the matter and 
reproving Representative Rush. In its Report, the Committee 
found that Representative Rush must repay the value of the 
impermissible gift within six weeks of the publication of the 
Report. On May 18, 2018, Representative Rush provided a check 
in the amount of $14,610 to the U.S. Treasury.

In the Matter of Allegations Relating to Representative David 
        Schweikert

    On April 16, 2018, the OCE forwarded to the Committee a 
Report and Findings in which it recommended further review of 
allegations that Representative David Schweikert and his then-
Chief of Staff, Richard Oliver Schwab, may have authorized the 
misuse of or misused Representative Schweikert's MRA, 
Representative Schweikert may have failed to ensure that his 
campaign committees complied with applicable rules regarding 
contributions from congressional employees, Mr. Schwab may have 
improperly made personal outlays on behalf of Representative 
Schweikert's principal campaign committees, and Mr. Schwab may 
have received income beyond the outside earned income limit for 
senior staff.
    On June 14, 2018, the Committee unanimously voted to 
establish an ISC to determine whether Representative Schweikert 
or Mr. Schwab violated the Code of Official Conduct or any law, 
rule, regulation or other applicable standard of conduct in the 
performance of their duties or the discharge of their 
responsibilities, with respect to allegations forming the basis 
for the OCE's referral.
    On July 9, 2018, Mr. Schwab left House employment after 
resigning from his position as Representative Schweikert's 
Chief of Staff. On the date of Mr. Schwab's resignation, the 
ISC's and the Committee's jurisdiction over Mr. Schwab ended.
    On December 20, 2018, the Committee unanimously voted to 
expand the ISC's jurisdiction to include allegations that (1) 
Representative Schweikert may have used official resources to 
benefit his campaign or pressured congressional staff to 
perform political activity; (2) Representative Schweikert may 
have authorized compensation to an employee who did not perform 
duties commensurate with his House employment; (3) 
Representative Schweikert or his campaign committee may have 
received loans or gifts from a congressional employee; and (4) 
Representative Schweikert may have omitted required information 
from his annual House financial disclosure statements and 
Federal Election Commission candidate committee reports.
    As of the conclusion of the 115th Congress, the ISC had not 
completed its investigation into this matter. Representative 
Schweikert was reelected to the House for the 116th Congress.

In the Matter of Allegations Relating to Representative Roger 
        Williams\39\
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    \39\Comm. on Ethics, In the Matter of Allegations Relating to 
Representative Roger Williams, H. Rept. 115-271, 115th Cong. 1st Sess. 
(2017).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On May 13, 2016, the OCE forwarded to the Committee a 
Report and Findings in which it recommended further review of 
allegations that Representative Roger Williams may have 
violated federal law, House rules, and other standards of 
conduct when he took an official action on a matter affecting 
his personal financial interest in an automobile dealership, by 
offering an amendment to certain surface transportation 
reauthorization legislation in the 114th Congress (the Williams 
Amendment). The Committee released the OCE Report and Findings, 
along with Representative Williams' response, on August 11, 
2016, and noted in a public statement that the Committee was 
continuing to review the allegations pursuant to Committee Rule 
18(a).
    On August 1, 2017, the Committee submitted a Report to the 
House describing the facts and its findings in this matter, as 
well as its determination to take no further action in this 
matter.
    In its Report, the Committee concluded that, while the 
Williams Amendment could have affected Representative Williams' 
personal financial interests, his actions in offering the 
amendment did not create a reasonable inference of 
inappropriate conduct. However, the Committee found that 
Representative Williams should have consulted the Committee for 
guidance, to identify in advance any potential limitations on 
his ability to offer and support the Williams Amendment, in 
order to avoid any inference of improper action.
    Representative Williams' failure to consult the Committee 
aside, the Committee ultimately concluded that, based on the 
totality of the circumstances, Representative Williams' 
sponsorship of the Williams Amendment did not violate any law 
or House Rule. Accordingly, the Committee unanimously voted to 
dismiss the matter and to take no further action.

                                  [all]