Sanford, Trump condemn secret House ethics vote

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Credit: DonaldJTrump.com

Politico is reporting House Republican leaders have reversed course on yesterday’s secret vote that would have crippled the power of the independent Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate Congressional members. The about-face follows a sizable outcry from the public and the condemnation of fellow Republicans, like South Carolina’s own Mark Sanford and President-elect Donald Trump.

A long-time critic of corruption and cronyism at the capital in Columbia, former South Carolina governor and current U.S. Rep. Sanford released a tersely worded statement today directed at his fellow House GOPers.

“Independent review is an essential ingredient to good government. The amendment adopted behind closed doors last night in conference gives too much power to the very elected officials at times in need of oversight,” Sanford said. “Though well intended, I cannot vote for the overall rules package if the ethics office cannot investigate anonymous reports of wrongdoing, make criminal referrals or continue an investigation independent of member approval.” 

Sanford added, “This is precisely what I fought against for eight years of my life as governor. In the South Carolina legislative body, members oversee member complaints on the ethics front. It is different for constitutional officers where there is an independent ethics committee. Self-policing on ethics does not work. It is the proverbial case of a fox guarding the henhouse, and the current string of indictments in the South Carolina legislative body is an indicator of that fact.”

As for Trump, he let his thoughts be known in the typical fashion through Twitter.

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