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House ethics investigators have been scrutinizing the activities of more than 30 lawmakers and several aides in inquiries about issues including defense lobbying and corporate influence peddling, according to a confidential House ethics committee report prepared in July. The report appears to have been inadvertently placed on a publicly accessible computer network, and it was provided to The Washington Post by a source not connected to the congressional investigations. The committee said Thursday night that the document was released by a low-level staffer.
The Post reported in a second story that “nearly half the members of a powerful House subcommittee in control of Pentagon spending are under scrutiny.”
There’s little chance that any of the members under investigation will actually be held accountable for thei actions, though. As the Post noted, “The ethics committee is one of the most secretive panels in Congress, and its members and staff members sign oaths not to disclose any activities related to its past or present investigations…Most result in private letters that either exonerate or reprimand a member. In some rare instances, the censure is more severe.”
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Number of people per sauna in Finland:
Argentine scientists who attached plastic flatulence-gathering backpacks to cows found that the animals emit up to 1,000 liters of flatulence each day.
China debarked the rover Jade Rabbit onto the moon’s Bay of Rainbows.
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Notes on South Africa’s failed revolution
“I will never know what goes on in your mind, or what that shield of a smile behind which we try to advance should tell us.”