Roll Call is concerned that a new rule at House Ethics might be an attempt to limit the authority of the Office of Congressional Ethics.
The rules defined “investigation” to include not just formal establishment of an investigative subcommittee but a mere decision by the chairman and ranking member to launch an inquiry.
The resolution creating the OCE stipulated that the ethics panel could halt an OCE inquiry upon notice that it was conducting an “investigation.”
So, watchdog groups feared that, under the new rules, the chairman and ranking member could deep-six an OCE probe.
All this can be cleared up Thursday with assurance from Lofgren and Bonner that it will take a full committee vote and formal establishment of an investigative subcommittee to stop an OCE investigation.