Keith Ellison co-sponsored a bill to “severely restrict the powers” of the Office of Congressional Ethics in 2010…
Congressman and DNC Chair candidate Keith Ellison (D-MN) went on the offensive Tuesday, firing off a tweet that attacked Republicans for attempting to reform the Congressional Ethics Office.
Republicans proposing rule to hamstring the Congressional Ethics Office? Perhaps they're on the other side of that issue.
— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) January 3, 2017
Ultimately, Republicans reversed course and left the rules governing the Ethics Office in place, but not before Ellison took a shot at Republicans for being “on the other side” of ethics and transparency.
But in 2010, the Minnesota congressman co-sponsored a bill (H.Res.1416) designed to change public disclosure rules for the Ethics Office. The New York Times described Ellison’s bill as one that would “severely restrict the powers” of the Office of Congressional Ethics.
Specifically, Ellison’s bill proposed that the Ethics Office be prohibited from releasing “most investigative reports,” and would have prevented the office itself from initiating its own inquiries “unless a sworn complaint was filed by an individual with personal knowledge of the alleged wrongdoing.”
An America Enterprise Institute (AEI) ethics expert said at the time that Ellison’s bill would “gut and render impotent the Office of Congressional Ethics.”
That same expert described the move as “a pretty good working definition of chutzpah,” which might also describe the tweet Ellison fired off on Tuesday, given the sheer hypocrisy of his sudden change in position.
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