The U.S. House of Representatives ethics committee has created an investigative subcommittee to look into the alleged ethics violations of Guam Congressman Michael San Nicolas.
In a news release dated June 12, 2020, the ethics committee said the investigative subcommittee shall have jurisdiction to determine whether San Nicolas may have engaged in the following:
- A sexual relationship with an individual on his congressional staff;
- Converted campaign funds to personal use;
- Accepted improper and/or excessive campaign contributions;
- Reported campaign disbursements that may not be legitimate and verifiable campaign expenditures attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes;
- Omitted required information from or disclosed false information in reports filed with the Federal Election Commission;
- Made false statements to government investigators or agencies; and
- Improperly interfered or attempted to interfere in a government investigation of related allegations in violation of House Rules, law, regulations, or other standards of conduct.
According to the ethics committee, Congresswoman Grace Meng will serve as chairwoman of the investigative subcommittee while Congresswoman Jackie Walorski will serve as the Ranking Member.
The other two members of the investigative subcommittee are Representatives Darren Soto and Vicky Hartzler.
The ethics committee stated that it decided to take this action following receipt of a referral from the Office of Congressional Ethics regarding this matter. The Office of Congressional Ethics, established by the House of Representatives, is an independent, non-partisan entity charged with receiving and reviewing allegations of misconduct concerning House Members and staff.
The ethics committee stressed that the mere fact of establishing an investigative subcommittee does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred.
Congressman San Nicolas, in an email to PNC responding to the ethics committee statement, said: “This is just a part of the process that we are required to go through in order to disprove the allegations made against us. We will continue to cooperate and thank the people for their patience and support during this time.”