Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Arizona Republican Rep. David Schweikert Racking Up Big Legal Bills in House Ethics Probe

UPDATE:Arizona Rep. David Schweikert (R-CD6) has seen his campaign committee owe more money than it has on hand, as its legal expenses climbed to $583,000 as a result of a year-long ethics investigation. The apparent origin of the trouble - Oliver Schwab, his former Chief of Staff - is no longer under investigation. The investigation continues, and the Arizona Republic's Ronald Hansen reported on today's release of the initial referral by the Office of Congressional Ethics to the House Ethics Committee. Most of that information was already in the public sphere; however, it does indicate that the referral for the alleged infractions was unanimous.
Arizona Rep. David Schweikert is running up big legal bills as the House Ethics Committee investigates the Arizona Republican's dealings with his former top aide and other employees.

Schweikert owes more than $229,000 to law firms, according to his just-released campaign filings. And that's on top of the tens of thousands of dollars he has already paid his defense team during the ethics probe.
In fact, Schweikert's legal debts nearly equal the cash on hand his reelection committee reported as of March 30, according to his filing with the Federal Election Commission. Schweiker's legal debts were more than $229,000, while the reelection campaign had slightly less than $241,000 in the bank. Overall debt by Schweikert's reelection committee amounted to more than $251,000, meaning Schweikert's campaign owes more than it has on hand.

Most of Schweikert's legal debt is owed to the firm Holtzman Vogel Josefiak Torchinsky PLLC, which specializes in campaign finance regulations, among other areas. Schweikert owes that firm more than $206,000, the FEC reports show.

Schweikert's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Schweikert reported raising just under $167,000 in 2019's first quarter, an anemic amount for a veteran lawmaker who holds a seat on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Roughly 40 percent of that total came from corporate PACs, according to the new FEC filing. Schweikert was first elected in 2010.

The House Ethics Committee — following an investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics, the independent ethics watchdog — launched a formal probe last year into allegations that Schweikert misspent official funds and received illegal campaign contributions from his former chief of staff, Oliver Schwab, and other employees, according to a statement from the panel. Read Article