House Ethics Committee Drops Countrywide Probe

12990_sale House Ethics Committee Drops Countrywide Probe The House Ethics Committee has dropped its probe of allegations that Countrywide Financial Corp. sought to peddle influence on Capitol Hill through its ‘V.I.P.’ program, claiming a lack of ‘any specific credible evidence of actual violations that remain within the jurisdiction of the committee.’

In a press statement, the committee acknowledged evidence existed that ‘certain House employees made explicit requests to Countrywide lobbyists or spoke to a Countrywide lobbyist about their personal loan needs, and that the lobbyists then facilitated those loans.’ And while the committee noted there were ‘numerous allegations’ regarding the participation of ‘certain members and employees of the House of Representatives’ in Countrywide's program, it claimed that it was unable to pursue reprimand.

"Almost all of the allegations concerned actions taken outside, or well-outside, the jurisdiction of this committee," said the committee in its statement. ‘However, while there are no allegations of actual violations that fall within the committee's jurisdiction, we take this opportunity to provide the House community and the public at large with an analysis of these allegations, and guidance that may be helpful in considering future conduct and avoiding even the appearance of impropriety.’


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