Members of the House who took a trip in 2013 that was secretly funded by the Azerbaijani government denied any wrongdoing on Wednesday, stressing that the travel was pre-approved by the Ethics Committee.
Reps. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), Ted Poe (R-Texas), Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) and Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) each released a statement defending their travel to the central Asian nation.
“The House Committee on Ethics approved my travel request in writing prior to the trip, as is required for all House Members’ travel,” Bridenstine said in a lengthy statement.
Poe’s office said the lawmaker cooperated fully with an investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), and that no evidence was found that the Texas Republican knew of the secret funding arrangement.
The office of Meeks, meanwhile, said the congressman had “had no reason to believe that the trip was in any way inappropriate” and remains “confident that he complied with the law.”
The lawmakers scrambled to respond after The Washington Post obtained a 70-page report about the Azerbaijan trip complied by the OCE, an independent entity that investigates allegations of misconduct against lawmakers and their staffs.
Ten lawmakers and 32 congressional aides accepted gifts and airfare to Azerbaijan that were secretly paid for by the country’s state-owned oil company, the OCE report said.
The expenses totaled more than $125,000, including airfare, and included gifts to lawmakers of crystal tea sets, silk scarves and Azerbaijani rugs that were valued at between $2,500 and $10,000 each.
Ruger This is how I see their actions here. They are thumbing their nose at us whitey's, and saying "see we are black and we are screwing all you white people to help make up for the slavery you inflicted on us" They smile all the way on these vacations. Many blacks hate white people here in America.
I have not had a vacation for several years, must be nice.
The ethics should be handled by WE THE PEOPLE not them. This should not have happened but when ever they can do this they will. Just like when the so called government shut down the democrats had the rally's with the illegals well they broke FEDERAL law so why were they not arrested???
They get to do what they want because we closed our eyes.
Better Question? Do we need congress at all ? This has turned into a one dictator show. Congress is just an added expense . They say yes and head out to take trips,recess, party or what ever ? The fun and games of our supposed leaders have us 17 trillion dollars in debt? You Call that leadership? I call that that criminal !!!!! Folks, we've been had. We 'er about to be taken again? Our kids,kids , kids will still be trying to pay this abortion off. If the ethics committee says its OK(Who is the ethics committee ,more of the good ole boys) that makes it OK? Take gifts,OK? Don't each one of them have a brain? Can't they reason wright from wrong? They just can't get enough? I have had enough of them.I know when enough is enough is enough.! I have seen enough and will try to persuade every one possible to rid ourselves of the people that pose as leaders with our country's very survival at stake. Get it done in 2016.Go TEA-PARTY
Has anyone thought outside the box that the state of the 22 Union States "officially Bankrupt" might have a lot to do with all the goings on in Congress? My thought is with almost half the Nation near $ collapse Congress is hanging on for dear life! And us little people will be soon going down, too. Hope some of you have EYES WIDE OPEN. Nows NO TIME FOR SLEEPING OR GETTING SIDETRACKED. As we say here in BOSTON, "As you travel on in Life, Brother, whatever be your goal, keep your eye upon the donut and not upon the Hole." Too bad, our Government can't do it! Massachusetts now at $1.8 BILLION in Short Fall. #6 on the 22 List. Do you know where your state is? Do you know, according to the list, that 5 of 6 New England States are on this List? Do you know ILLINOIS is #1 at 6 BILLION? Something to think about my friends.