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December 20, 2012

CREW Statement on House Ethics Committee’s Decision to Close Rep. Meeks Investigation

Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY)

Washington, D.C. — Today, in response to the House Ethics Committee’s decision to close its investigation into Rep. Gregory Meeks’ (D-NY) failure to disclose a loan, CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan released the following statement:

“The House Ethics Committee — generally ineffectual and incompetent — has outdone itself with today’s decision.  Rep. Meeks’ claim that he unintentionally left a $40,000 loan off of his financial disclosure for three years because he didn’t know he had to disclose liabilities defies credibility, particularly as the form includes instructions.  The committee’s decision to accept this ridiculous explanation at face value essentially guts the Ethics in Government Act as it applies to members of the House, signaling that members who disingenuously claim to have made an honest mistake by failing to include information will be taken at their word, no matter what evidence exists to the contrary.

“The committee’s determination that the loan did not constitute an improper gift to Rep. Meeks from Edul Ahmad is, if possible, even more ridiculous.  How the committee could credit Rep. Meeks’ bizarre claim to have somehow 'lost' the supposed documentation for a loan he mysteriously failed to report and that Mr. Ahmad’s lawyer said did not exist may be a new low for the Ethics Committee.  Once again, the committee has demonstrated that what it does best is provide cover for unethical members of Congress.  Every member who voted to approve this report should be embarrassed by their own disgraceful conduct.”

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a non-profit legal watchdog group dedicated to holding public officials accountable for their actions. For more information, please visit www.citizensforethics.org or contact Stephen Santulli at 202.408.5565 or ssantulli@citizensforethics.org.

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