WASHINGTON - Common Cause on Thursday urged the House Ethics Committee to investigate additional aspects of Representative Tom DeLay’s (R-TX) 2000 trip to England and Scotland. Common Cause asked the Committee to determine whether the trip was a gift from lobbyist Jack Abramoff in exchange for legislative assistance from Rep. Delay. Common Cause also asked the Committee to investigate whether this trip was primarily recreational in nature.
The Committee had previously indicated that it would investigate the allegations that lobbyist Jack Abramoff paid for the 2000 trip. New information stemming from the Justice Department’s separate investigation of Abramoff suggests that the lobbyist financed the trip with the goal of obtaining legislative assistance. Additionally, the Wall Street Journal has reported that “recreation was the primary purpose of going to Scotland” and was not related to Rep. DeLay’s official duties.
“The Ethics Committee cannot remain silent on the subject of Rep. DeLay’s association with lobbyist Jack Abramoff. There appears to be sufficient evidence to suggest that Representative DeLay may have violated one or more ethics rules. And only the Ethics Committee can determine if members of Congress have violated ethics rules,” said Common Cause President Chellie Pingree.
The letter specifically asked the Ethics Committee to launch a formal investigation into the allegations surrounding Rep. DeLay, to make public its findings, and to provide appropriate guidance to members to ensure that improper and unethical practices of this nature do not continue.
Click here to read the full text of the letter.