The House Ethics Committee voted Thursday to investigate Reps. Duncan D. Hunter (R-Calif.) and Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), a move that comes after the lawmakers were indicted in separate cases within the past month.
The Ethics Committee announced that it had voted unanimously to form investigative subcommittees tasked with probing the two lawmakers’ behavior.
But in a move that is in keeping with the committee’s handling of other recent investigations, action on both probes will be deferred at the request of the Department of Justice. The panel has typically stood down until federal prosecutors conclude their own investigation into the lawmaker in question.
The panel investigating Hunter is charged with examining whether the California Republican “violated the Code of Official Conduct or any law, rule, regulation, or other applicable standard of conduct” regarding his use of campaign funds, according to a statement released by the committee Thursday night.
The subcommittee will include Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.) as its chairman and Rep. Anthony G. Brown (Md.) as the ranking Democrat, as well as Reps. John Katko (R-N.Y.) and Joaquin Castro (D-Tex.).
A separate panel will investigate Collins. Its probe will center on whether Collins committed any violations in relation to the allegations that he engaged in unlawful conspiracy, securities and wire fraud, misled federal investigators and other charges.
The panel will be chaired by Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Calif.). Rep. Ted Deutch (Fla.) will serve as ranking Democrat, and the other two members will be Reps. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.).
In a statement Thursday evening, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urged House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) to call on both lawmakers to resign. She also cast the news of the investigations as the latest signal that the Republican Party has failed to live up to its promise to rid Washington of corruption.
“Far from draining the swamp, Republicans have turned Washington into a cesspool of self-enrichment and special interests,” Pelosi said.