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House Ethics Board finds “substantial reason to believe” Rep. Bill Owens (D-NY21 ) illegally accepted foreign gifts

House Ethics Board finds “substantial reason to believe” Rep. Bill Owens (D-NY21 ) illegally accepted foreign gifts

The Board of the Office of Congressional Ethics  just released findings (with extensive evidentiary supporting documents) that there is “substantial reason to believe” Rep. Bill Owens (D-NY21) violated federal law and House Rules in connection with a trip to Taiwan (emphasis added):

NATURE OF THE ALLEGED VIOLATIONS: Representative Bill Owens may have accepted payment of travel expenses for an officially connected trip to Taiwan from an impermissible source, resulting in an impermissible gift, in violation of federal law and House Rules. Representative Owens may have accepted payment of travel expenses for an officially connected trip to Taiwan, when that trip was in some part planned, organized, requested, or arranged by agents of a foreign principal, in violation of House Rules.

RECOMMENDATIONS: The OCE Board recommends that the Committee on Ethics further review the first allegation as there is substantial reason to believe that Representative Owens accepted payment of travel expenses for an officially connected trip to Taiwan from an impermissible source, resulting in an impermissible gift, in violation of federal law and House Rules.

The OCE Board recommends that the Committee on Ethics further review the second allegation as there is substantial reason to believe that Representative Owens accepted payment of travel expenses for an officially connected trip to Taiwan, when that trip was in some part planned, organized, requested, or arranged by agents of a foreign principal, in violation of House Rules.

Owens’ response is here.  The Committee on Ethics’ press release is here, indicating the matter will continue to be reviewed.

You may recall that in a 2009 special election, Owens defeated conservative/Tea Party candidate Doug Hoffman after Republican Dede Scozzafava quit the race and endorsed Owens.

[Note:  The title was changed from “foreign donations” to “foreign gifts” to more closely track the language of the report.]

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Comments

“…after Republican Dede Scozzafava quite the race…”

She quit the race, I think.

Whatever else she did, she THREW the race.

“I’m shocked, shocked! To find corruption in this establishment! Everybody Out Immediately!!! “. (sorry, I couldn’t resist…)

BannedbytheGuardian | February 6, 2013 at 6:46 pm

But at least when he was there he would have seen some pretty impressive trains & classrooms of 60 kids all very attentive.

I put it down to culture shock.

Justice is conspicuous by its absence when it comes to politics and entrenched, self-serving regimes.
Hamish Alexander

A slap on the wrist, a wink and a nod with the admonition to “don’t get caught again” and then the entire sordid affair is brushed under the rug. No one expects Congress (of all places!!) to punish a Social-Democrat.

Heinlein’s Federalism is the right idea!

The USA does need its modern version of Cromwell, especially as to how he treated the Rotten Parliament of his day. Who today can stand up and throw out the rascals, well, actually kick’em out, as he did.

Yeah Cromwell was a dictator, a tyrant, but he meant well till he no longer meant well.

And, yes, it’s also true that Cromwell replaced another tyrant, King Chuck I. So, maybe one lesson is that when tyrants rule, all we can expect is more of the same, even when a kind and well-meaning tyrant (Like Cromwell!) appears.

That is perhaps what awaits the USA after Obama, his replacement will appear to be a kinder more gentle less harsh tyrant yet of that same bent.

Ah yes, those were the days! 😉 Pity!

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Doug Wright. | February 7, 2013 at 2:02 am

    We could give you Charles .

    King Charles 1 of America.

      Easy response in two parts:
      1. Throw out your monarchy. No need to kill them, just those that try to kill you! Heck, buy them out with 100-year notes backed by your supply of coal.
      2. Settle Britain’s problems before you bloody fools try to resolve our own mess. We will take care of our own set of fools and mountebanks yet how that is done is our business not the world’s.

        BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Doug Wright. | February 7, 2013 at 2:59 am

        Hehe Why so aggressive?

        You are the one who brought up Charles & Cromwell. it is just co incidence that we just happen to have. A spare King Charles looking for something to do.

        Actually in the UK the situation has not changed . The role of the Monarchy & Parliament is only an agreement for there is no constitution .

        No WAY would they throw out or buy out Q Elizabeth. Now Cameron is another matter.

        Ps Doug – the Internet is global . Witch Doctors from Zambia could be posting this very minute – just after their potion boils.

[…] William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection reports on a congressional ethics investigation that has found “there is substantial reason to believe that Representative Owens accepted payment of travel expenses for an officially connected trip to Taiwan from an impermissible source, resulting in an impermissible gift, in violation of federal law and House Rules.” […]

[…] William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection reports on a congressional ethics investigation that has found “there is substantial reason to believe that Representative Owens accepted payment of travel expenses for an officially connected trip to Taiwan from an impermissible source, resulting in an impermissible gift, in violation of federal law and House Rules.” […]

[…] House Ethics Board finds “substantial reason to believe” Rep. Bill Owens (D-NY21 ) illegally acc… The Board of the Office of Congressional Ethics just released findings (with extensive evidentiary supporting documents) that there is “substantial reason to believe” Rep. Bill Owens (D-NY21) violated federal law and House Rules in connection with a trip to Taiwan […]

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