The House Ethics Committee opened investigations to determine whether two congressmen, Republican Don Young of Alaska and Democrat Robert Andrews of New Jersey, improperly spent campaign funds for personal use.
In separate statements, the panel said today it appointed subcommittees to determine whether the two lawmakers violated the House’s Code of Official Conduct.
The subcommittees will also determine whether Young and Andrews, co-chairman of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, made false statements to federal officials regarding the expenditures, said the statements by the Ethics Committee’s chairman, Texas Republican Mike Conaway, and its top Democratic member, Linda Sanchez of California.
The subcommittee investigating Young, 79, will review allegations that he or others improperly sought and accepted gifts and failed to report them on annual financial disclosure reports. Representative Patrick Meehan, a Pennsylvania Republican and a former U.S. attorney in Philadelphia, will lead the investigation of Young.
“Congressman Young has cooperated with the committee and will continue to do so,” Mike Anderson, a spokesman for Young, said in an e-mail.
Representative Trey Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican and a former state and federal prosecutor, will lead the subcommittee investigating allegations that Andrews, 55, misspent money from his campaign committee and his political action committee for personal purposes, the ethics panel said.
Allegations that Andrews used campaign funds to pay for a family trip in 2011 to Scotland and other travels to Los Angeles that year were referred to the ethics panel last year by the Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent watchdog set up by the House to investigate complaints about official misconduct.
In a statement, Andrews said the panel’s investigation “will establish and confirm that I have always followed all the rules and met all the standards of the House.” He also said he “will eagerly provide any and all information requested” by the panel.
Young first won his seat in 1973, Andrews was first elected in 1990.