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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Proving a negative: Congressman Chris Lee, NY 26th, under ethics investigation

Updated: Welcome Freepers. Thanks for linking and please bookmark this site if you'd like to follow what is going on in the NY Congressional Elections.

Via WGRZ 2

Via Vote Up!


By Sam Foster


It's a growing story, 8 congressman are being investigated by an independent ethics committee for their vote on banking reform.  Chris Lee, Republican congressmen from NY's 26th congressional district is one of the members being investigated.  The national print media have merely named Mr. Lee in the investigation and have no specifics.  WGRZ had the most detailed coverage:


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Representative Chris Lee (R-26th District) is being investigated by the House Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). 

According to the NY Post and the political website, Lee is one of eight lawmakers whose fundraising activities are being investigated.  All of the lawmakers involved are are all members of either the Financial Services or Ways and Means committees.   

According to the NY Post, the motive behind the investigation is not clear, but sources tell the paper it is tied to Wall Street reform legislation. says the office investigating the lawmakers is demanding fundraising information from lobbyists. 

Rep. Lee's Communications Director Andrea Bozek, issued the following statement when contacted by 2 On Your Side about the probe.

"We were contacted by the OCE about a routine audit that has begun regarding a bipartisan group of members.  We were informed that the OCE has conducted similar audits in the past of groups of Democratic and Republican members.  Chris believes strongly in accountability and is happy to comply with the OCE's request."

I wouldn't be surprised if this issue came up again in the elections, but an investigation seems highly unlikely to actually implicate congressman Lee, since he voted against the bill that passed, along a solid majority of Republicans.  In fact, prior to his vote, he supported alternative reforms.   Of course, there might be some hidden camera somewhere capturing a secret stash of cash in congressman Lee's freezer.  However,  as so many are familiar, it is nearly impossible to prove a negative.


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