Washington Post Accesses Online Files On Congressional Ethics Investigations

The Democrats are so strangely self-destructive at times, I have to say this: Please tell me they're not only investigating Democrats, but Republicans

The Democrats are so strangely self-destructive at times, I have to say this: Please tell me they're not only investigating Democrats, but Republicans, too. Because that would just be stupid. I mean, we didn't bother going after Republican war criminals - so why single out Democrats?

House ethics investigators have scrutinized the activities of more than 30 lawmakers and several aides in inquiries about issues including defense lobbying and corporate influence peddling, according to a confidential House ethics committee report prepared in July.

The report, disclosed on a publicly accessible computer network, was made available to The Washington Post by a source familiar with such networks.

The ethics committee is one of the most secretive panels in Congress, and its members and staff members sign oaths not to disclose any activities related to its past or present investigations. Watchdog groups have accused the committee of not actively pursuing inquiries; the newly disclosed document indicates the panel is conducting far more investigations than it had revealed.

Shortly after 6 p.m. Thursday, the committee chairman, Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), interrupted a series of House votes to alert lawmakers about the breach. She cautioned that some of the panel's activities are preliminary and not a conclusive sign of inappropriate behavior.

"No inference should be made as to any member," she said.

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