Is this any way to carry out a reelection campaign? Politico reports that Rep. Laura Richardson, already under reprimand for pressuring her staff to work on her campaign, is now accused by the House Ethics committee of retaliating against and intimidating aides who cooperated with the earlier investigation. The website says it has seen "two explosive letters the Ethics Committee sent to Richardson" warning that the allegations could be turned over to the Justice Department for prosecution.
From Politico's story:
On Aug. 2, the full House, acting on the Ethics Committee’s recommendation, unanimously voted to reprimand Richardson for improperly pressuring her government staff to work on her campaign — a big no-no for federal officials. She was also reprimanded for using official House resources, including aides, for personal errands, as well as obstructing the ethics investigation. She was fined $10,000.
But even after this official punishment, the committee continued to receive allegations of misconduct by Richardson, after she accepted the rebuke on the House floor in a dramatic scene just before Congress left Washington for its annual August recess.
So, Ethics sent Richardson a threatening letter on Aug. 15, cautioning her to refrain from engaging in the type of activity that got her in trouble in the first place — and not to get in the committee’s way.
“To be certain, any further conduct that has the effect of retaliating against or intimidating your staff with respect to your recently concluded matter before this committee may constitute a new violation of House rules and/or federal law,” the committee’s chairman and ranking minority-party member, Republican Jo Bonner of Alabama and Democrat Linda Sanchez of California, wrote in their Aug. 15 letter. “Similarly, any further conduct that has the effect of retaliating against, or intimidating your staff with respect to the committee’s review of these new allegations may also constitute a new violation of House rules and/or federal law, including obstruction of this committee’s official activities.”
Richardson is running against Rep. Janice Hahn in a harbor-area district created by the recent redistricting.