The investigation into Rep. Val Demings (D., Fla.) for misuse of taxpayer funds by abusing mailing privileges as she runs in a high-profile statewide race has been shut down by Democratic leadership.
According to The Washington Free Beacon the bipartisan House Communications Standards Commission, last month opened an investigation into Demings after a complaint that she sent a campaign-style mailer to Floridians outside her district came to the committee.
“The Democratic chairwoman of the commission, Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (Pa.), told her Republican colleagues in a letter obtained by the Free Beacon that she does ‘not believe that further inquiry is warranted’ and on Tuesday will vote against investigating the matter further. Her vote against further action will effectively end the investigation,” the Washington Free Beacon reported.
The commission’s initial investigation into the congressman resulted in Demings sending a letter from attorneys at Elias Law Group that was reviewed by the Free Beacon and had an admonition from the congresswoman about the mailer.
“This is just the latest example of Democrats twisting rules, process, and precedent to cover up the violation of a member,” a senior congressional aide with knowledge of the matter told the Free Beacon.
“On top of that, the involvement of a partisan attorney like Marc Elias, who simultaneously represents the chair of the Commission, only further raises issues of a conflict of interest.
“This was a valid complaint filed with the Commission and a clear-cut violation of the rules, yet the Democrat members of the Commission are not only moving towards dismissing the complaint but are actively blocking any attempts to further look into the matter.”
Deming’s attorneys blamed the private vender that took care of the mailings for the violation, however according to the Beacon, who had no lack of comments on their Facebook page about the issue, members of Congress are only allowed to send mailers free of charge to residents within their district regarding “matters of public concern and Congressional actions,” in a practice known as “franking.”
Rep. Kat Cammack (Fla.), a Republican on the committee, as well as several others, don’t feel that the matter was adequately investigated.