Congresswoman Lori Trahan has not cooperated with an ethics review of her campaign spending, the House's watchdog group said Tuesday, as it recommended subpoenas of the congresswoman and her husband.
The House Committee on Ethics has been investigating allegations that the Massachusetts Democrat's campaign may have violated federal law by misreporting funds it received as personal loans and contributions from the candidate herself.
The Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent agency that reviews misconduct allegations against House members and reports to the Ethics Committee, recommended further review in its report Tuesday.
"There is substantial reason to believe that Rep. Trahan's campaign committee accepted personal loans and contributions that exceeded campaign contribution limits," the OCE said in its report. "There is substantial reason to believe that Rep. Trahan failed to disclose required information in her congressional candidate financial disclosure reports or FEC candidate committee filings."
Trahan admitted in October that, in the final days of her 2018 race, her campaign used $300,000 deposited into a joint account by her husband, David Trahan. She acknowledged "several errors," but added that she "didn't give much thought to what bank account to use."
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The OCE said in its report Tuesday that "Rep. Trahan's campaign committee appears to have intentionally misreported the dates" on which two of three loans from David Trahan's personal funds were received.
Trahan, her husband and her campaign have not cooperated with the review, the OCE said in its report, recommending that the Ethics Committee issue subpoenas for all three.
But a Trahan spokesperson said any review of her campaign spending would vindicate her, and that the "OCE radically overstepped its bounds in its conduct of the review."
"Congresswoman Trahan has previously communicated at length to her constituents about the circumstances surrounding her personal loan to her campaign consistent with the facts in the OCE report," the spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday. "The complaint that generated this referral came from a right-wing group with a long history of attacking Democrats, and is without merit. The Federal Election Commission has found no violations in numerous cases involving the use of marital assets that closely mirror Congresswoman Trahan's use of funds, which is why we remain confident that any review will rule in her favor. We look forward to the Ethics Committee's final decision on this matter."
Trahan's spokesperson added that the representative and her husband made a premarital agreement to pool their assets back in 2007, and that any of her husband's money was legally recognized by Massachusetts to be her "personal funds."
Ethics Committee Chairman Ted Deutch, D-Fla., and Ranking Member Kenny Marchant, R-Texas, said in a joint statement Tuesday that the committee would continue to investigate the matter "in order to gather additional information necessary to complete its review."
"Today's report that the Congresswoman broke the law to get elected and tried to cover it up is incredibly disappointing," Trahan's opponent in the 2018 election, Dan Koh, said in a statement. "It's even more disturbing that she refuses to cooperate with the congressional investigation into her conduct."