The Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) unanimously voted to refer evidence from its investigation of defunct lobbying firm PMA Associates to the Department of Justice Thursday, potentially re-igniting an investigation involving Rep. Todd Tiahrt.
In February, the OCE recommended the House Ethics Committee investigate Tiahrt and Indiana Congressman Peter Visclosky for possibly tying earmark requests to campaign fundraising. According to the New York Times, the ethics committee did not investigate the charges, and voted unanimously to clear Tiahrt, Visclosky and five other congressmen under investigation, including the late Rep. John Murtha.
According to OCE’s original report (large file), Tiahrt refused to be interviewed during the investigation, saying in a letter from Tiahrt’s counsel that the investigation was “fundamentally flawed” and used a “questionable process”.
OCE would not release its evidence, citing the risk of prejudice to any pending criminal investigation.
Both Prairie Politics and The Sentinel will monitor this situation as it develops, and update accordingly.