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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

PolitiFact Florida: U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson downplays potential for punishment in ethics investigation



U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson waved off a recent congressional report on his alleged ethics violations, arguing that the findings mean he’s practically in the clear.

The Office of Congressional Ethics on April 5, 2016, released a report recommending that a House committee keep investigating Grayson. The Orlando Democrat, who is running for Sen. Marco Rubio’s soon-to-open seat, has been accused of improperly managing a hedge fund, not disclosing all his finances and conducting business deals with the federal government that would be conflicts of interest.

So far, the House has not formed a new subcommittee to keep looking into the allegations. Grayson said in a conference call with reporters that is a sign he likely won’t have to face serious repercussions.

"In every single instance where there's been any formal sanction — an expulsion, a reprimand or a censure of any member — in every one of those cases since the Office of Congressional Ethics was established, there's been an investigative subcommittee that's been established first," he said. He added that if the House Ethics Committee doesn’t form one of these panels, it usually will dismiss the complaint.

"What this does very likely represent is the end of the road regarding this particular inquiry," he said.

We wondered whether Grayson was right that formal sanctions have only followed the creation of an investigative subcommittee. We found that Grayson has a point on the most severe types of punishments, but it doesn’t mean investigations (or potential penalties) have reached "the end of the road." There may yet be mileage to cover here.

We rated it Half True. Read more here.

[Last modified: Wednesday, April 13, 2016 12:23pm]


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