Washington, D.C. — Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics against Rep. Frank Guinta (R-NH) for failing to disclose on his personal financial disclosure reports hundreds of thousands of dollars he steadfastly insists belong to him.
Rep. Guinta has repeatedly claimed that $355,000 he lent his congressional campaign came from his own funds, which were part of a larger combined family “pot” of money. Nevertheless, Rep. Guinta failed to report these assets, or any income related to them, on nearly all of his financial disclosure forms, violating federal law and House rules.
Rep. Guinta has insisted in public statements, filings with the Federal Election Commission, and a sworn affidavit that the loans to his campaign in 2010 came from his own funds. He claimed the money was comingled in a Guinta family pot that he helped manage, which included cash, real estate, and other assets, and that his own personal share of the pot was worth more than $700,000. Although he acknowledged the Bank of America account holding at least some of the family’s assets was in the name of his parents, Rep. Guinta asserted to the FEC that he held an “equitable interest” in the assets, as well as “any increase in the value of that property from investment.”
Despite these representations, Rep. Guinta omitted the assets in the family pot from nearly all of the personal financial disclosure reports he has filed with the House Ethics Committee. In July 2010, he filed an amended report disclosing for the first and only time the Bank of America account he claims holds the assets in the family pot. None of his subsequent reports, however, listed the account or any other funds associated with the Guinta family pot.
“Rep. Guinta wants to have his cake and eat it too,” said CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder. “When the FEC is investigating whether he received an illegal contribution, he insists the money is his. When it comes time to report that money to the Ethics Committee, he says he doesn’t have to report those funds because they aren’t in his name. Those claims can’t both be right.”
Last month, Rep. Guinta reached an agreement with the FEC to repay the loans, as well as a $15,000 fine. Even in the wake of the agreement, he has continued to assert that the loans came from his own funds. Despite these continued assertions, Rep. Guinta has not filed any amendments to his personal financial disclosure reports disclosing funds from the family pot.
“Every time Rep. Guinta contends that these funds are his, his failure to properly disclose them to the House Ethics Committee becomes all the more glaring,” Bookbinder said. “Financial disclosure is a crucial tool for helping voters hold their elected officials accountable. To defend the integrity of that system, the OCE should conduct a full investigation of Rep. Guinta.”
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