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House ethics panel investigating claims Republican Rep. Troy Nehls pocketed $25K in campaign cash

The House Ethics Committee introduced Friday it was probing Texas GOP Rep. Troy Nehls for allegedly diverting $25,000 in campaign funds for private use earlier than and through his first time period in Congress.

Ethics chairman Michael Guest (R-Miss.) and rating member Susan Wild (D-Pa.) revealed that the investigation into Nehls, which started March 26, had been prolonged, however made no public statements on its progress.

“The Committee notes that the mere fact of conducting further review of a referral, and any mandatory disclosure of such further review, does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the Committee,” Guest and Wild stated in an announcement.

Representative Troy Nehls (R-TX) speaks to press as he arrives for votes on bills including aid to Ukraine and Israel on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on April 20, 2024.
The House Ethics Committee introduced Friday it was probing roughly $25,000 in campaign funds that Rep. Troy Nehls allegedly pocketed for private use earlier than and through his first time period in Congress. Nathan Posner/Shutterstock

The panel additionally launched an Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) report from December laying out the allegations.

Nehls, three of his congressional staffers and two of his campaign aides refused to cooperate with the OCE investigation, based on the 14-page report.

“The Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) was created under Nancy Pelosi, which is why I refused to cooperate with the office,” Nehls stated in an announcement. “My books remain open, and I am cooperating with the legitimate House Committee on Ethics.”

Former President Donald Trump and Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas)
An in depth ally of Donald Trump, Nehls raised eyebrows through the House speakership combat in October when he nominated the previous president to guide the Republican convention. Troy Nehls/X

An in depth ally of Donald Trump, Nehls raised eyebrows through the House speakership combat in October when he nominated the previous president to guide the Republican convention.

During President Biden’s State of the Union handle in March, the 56-year-old wore a daring red-white and blue bowtie with a white T-shirt bearing Trump’s mugshot and the phrases “Never Surrender.”

The congressman’s campaign committee by no means made any lease funds to its listed location of “Freedom Hall” in the Houston suburb of Richmond, Texas — a website that has since turn out to be an “Islamic center and boarding school,” the report states.

Rep. Troy Nehls (R-TX) wears a Donald Trump themed shirt during President Joe Biden's State of the Union address during a joint meeting of Congress in the House chamber at the U.S. Capitol on March 07, 2024 in Washington, DC.
During President Biden’s State of the Union handle in March, he wore a daring red-white and blue bowtie with a white T-shirt bearing Trump’s mugshot and the phrases “Never Surrender.” Getty Images

Instead, Nehls for Congress forked over $25,319 in lease cash between 2019 and 2022 to Liberty 1776, LLC, of which the Republican is the only proprietor, based on Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts information.

The firm is registered to the Texas rep’s house handle in the identical city and had its license terminated in 2022 for franchise tax evasion.

Nehls didn’t disclose his possession of Liberty 1776 in his annual monetary disclosures for 2021 or 2022.

Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, questions Attorney General Merrick Garland during a House Judiciary Committee hearing, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Nehls didn’t disclose his possession of Liberty 1776 in his preliminary 2021 or 2022 annual monetary disclosures. AP

This previous February, after the OCE accomplished its probe, Nehls submitted amendments to his disclosures for both of those years itemizing himself as sole proprietor of the corporate however noting he took no wage or compensation.

One report turned up by the ethics workplace’s probe additionally discovered the corporate had made a $159 fee for private property taxes on the Freedom Hall location in 2022.

Nehls’ campaign additionally paid $12,652.62 to different restricted legal responsibility firms titled Patriot Media and Pogie USA, however no possession ties had been established by the report.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-GA) gets a hug from Rep. Troy Nehls (R-TX) after speaking at a press conference held by far-right Republican Representatives.
Nehls is working for a 3rd time period this November to symbolize Texas’ twenty second Congressional District after having served from 2013 to 2021 because the sheriff of Fort Bend County. Allison Bailey/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

“The Board notes the significance of Rep. Nehls’ decision not to cooperate with the OCE’s review, particularly in light of the fact that every individual who also declined to cooperate was represented by his attorney, or an entity or individual closely associated with him,” the report concludes.

“By choosing to bypass the OCE, which serves as an independent body responsible for reviewing allegations of misconduct, Rep. Nehls is undermining the transparency and the integrity of the investigation,” it states.

Nehls is working for a 3rd time period this November to symbolize Texas’ twenty second Congressional District after serving because the sheriff of Fort Bend County from 2013 to 2021.

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