Ethics panel confirms PMA investigation

For Immediate Release:

June 11, 2009

Contact:Ian Swanson

The Hill

The House ethics committee is investigating the now-defunct PMA defense lobbying group and its ties to lawmakers.

The investigation was confirmed by the chairwoman and ranking Republican in a joint statement released Thursday evening.

The announcement follows the approval of a resolution by the House that required the panel to report on the status of any actions taken with regard to the issue within 45 days of the resolution’s passage.

In the statement, Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) said the panel already had begun a review when the House approved the resolution. The joint statement said the committee would release future statements as appropriate.

The FBI is investigating whether some PMA campaign contributions were made by fraudulent “straw donors.” The FBI subpoenaed Rep. Pete Visclosky’s (D-Ind.) office for documents. Visclosky, Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) and Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) are top recipients of political contributions from the PMA group and have doled out millions in earmarks to the firm’s clients.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) offered the resolution approved by the House. The move was aimed at giving vulnerable Democrats political cover as Republicans offered resolutions to investigate the PMA group and its ties to lawmakers.

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