ETHICS COMPLAINT FILED: CREW alleges lawmakers who played hookie from swearing-in to attend fundraiser on Capitol grounds violated law, House rules

The Washington Post reports that Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has filed an ethics complaint against the two lawmakers who missed their swearing-in for the 112th Congress while attending a fundraiser, contending, among other things, that the two congressmen violated federal law and House rules by holding a fundraiser in the Capitol.

During the swearing-in, Reps. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) and Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Penn.) were attending a "reception" for Fitzpatrick in the Capitol Visitors Center. The invitation for the reception lists a cost of $30 per person, which CREW contends makes the event a fundraiser. The two later went on to cast votes without being sworn in as members, another violation of House rules.

According to the complaint: "The invitation lists a $30 per person cost, permits a donor to select a specified number of tickets, and lists contribution amounts of $30, $60, $90, $120, as well as others," said Melanie Sloan, CREW's executive director. "Furthermore, the invitation also instructs individuals who prefer to donate by check to make checks payable to Fitzpatrick for Congress."

It is well known that members of Congress begin raising campaign cash as soon as they step foot in Washington, D.C. And despite running against "business as usual" in Congress, Fitzpatrick, buoyed by veteran lawmaker Sessions, jumped right onto the fundraising treadmill, which in this case, resided on Capitol grounds, prompting the ethics complaint. It's common for lawmakers to miss the occasional vote. It's rare for them to miss their swearing-in while raising money a few floors down.

Click here to read CREW's full complaint.

Read the full Washington Post story by clicking here.