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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

'Substantial' reason to believe Buchanan attempted to sway witness, report says

vernbuchanan.jpgBradenton Herald: The Office of Congressional Ethics said Wednesday there's "substantial reason to believe" Rep. Vern Buchanan attempted to influence the testimony of a former business partner who was a witness during an investigation into the congressman's fundraising.

The House Ethics Committee, a separate entity, said it would further review the findings of the Office of Congressional Ethics, which zeroed in on Buchanan's conduct during an investigation by the Federal Election Commission. ...

The report asks the Ethics Committee to consider whether Buchanan violated federal bribery, obstruction and witness tampering laws -- all of which have criminal penalties. It also says there's "substantial reason to believe" Buchanan violated House rules of conduct requiring members behave at all times "in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House."

The congressman's office disputes the findings of the report, saying it has "full confidence" that the Ethics Committee will "reach the same conclusion" as the FEC and "dismiss these old, recycled accusations."

"There is absolutely nothing new in this report -- every allegation was painstakingly reviewed and unequivocally rejected by the FEC," said Buchanan spokesman Max Goodman, calling the report "a disgrace" that "relies exclusively on the contradictory testimony of one unreliable and thoroughly discredited witness.

Rest of story


, via Erika Bolstad of the McClatchy D.C. Bureau.

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[Last modified: Thursday, May 10, 2012 11:18am]


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