Ethics Committee finds 'substantial reason' to believe Republican used his office to score gifts from staff
A Congressional ethics probe revealed in a report Monday that Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) misused his office by soliciting or accepting gifts from those under him and requiring his staff do his wife's errands.
According to the report, cited by Axios, Lamborn's own staffers said that they were required to handle personal errands for Jeanie Lamborn and told to help get their son a federal job.
Transcripts of the probe also show that "Lamborn may have also permitted his chief of staff to compel other staff members to provide gifts to him and his family," Axios characterized.
"And then we would have a Christmas party with like White Elephant and I was advised to get something for the congressman, normally like craft beer," said a staffer in the investigation. "And then for birthday parties, I -- for the Lamborns, we had to have a party thrown. I asked one time what -- if we would be compensated for it, and Dale Anderson just laughed, so we paid out of pocket."
"So the gifts would be for Mrs. Lamborn and the congressman, and we had to make sure that -- I would tell Dale Anderson what we were getting to make sure that it was his approval and also the dollar amount was high enough, and that the congressman and Mrs. Lamborn would be okay with it," said another staffer.
The congressman also revealed that the staff was going to have a "recognition" of his daughter-in-law who became a citizen during COVID and didn't get to have a public ceremony with friends of family there.
When asked about it, one staff explained that the party was ordered by the Congressman himself.
"And then we had one party, naturalization party, that the congressman, and Mrs. Lamborn, and Dale told us that we had to have in 2020 for their daughter-in-law," the staffer said. "And so we threw a party and I -- for that one, because of the ethics classes and everything, the day of, I was like, how am I going to get compensated for this? And, again, Dale Anderson just laughed. So, we decoratd the office. We shut down the office, closed it, and we had food and Dale wanted me to get beer -- we always had beer for the congressman -- and then we had the naturalization party."
When testifying to the ethics committee, Rep. Lamborn said that he never allowed alcohol in his office.
Lamborn's wife has also collected a salary for his campaign as a "strategist and manager." She also provides advice in his official office. The congressman specifically cited the questions about his wife saying that she has a "commitment to her husband's success."
He also said any allegations about his son trying to score a job were "highly exaggerated and false."
"I may have first met back [Lamborn's son] when I first started for Congressman Lamborn, perhaps at a Christmas party or something, but to be honest, I'm not sure I could pick him out from a group," said a staffer identified as Witness 2. "That's how not very often I've met him. Very nice I can recall, so."
" Did you ever help [Lamborn's son] with the Federal job hiring process?" the committee asked.
"I did, yes," the staffer replied. When asked how, the witness continued: "Well, I had, luckily, already prepared materials through my normal constituent services work because we are often contacted by constituents asking for help with how to navigate the Federal job process. So, you know, it begins with USAjobs.com or gov. Well, from there it gets even more complicated. And I had prepared a packet of things that help folks with that whole process, so luckily I had everything ready, and I simply said, hey, I've got just the thing. And so I was very happy to share that information, public information, that anyone can find. And so I just simply compiled it and had it ready for folks when they contacted our office."
The staffer said it was Mrs. Lamborn who asked for help for their son. Rep. Lamborn said that the whole process didn't take the staffer more than 20 minutes and some emails with links to federal job openings.
Rep. Marie Newman (D-NJ) is also being investigated by the ethics committee for possibly promising a federal job to her opponent if they supported her.
John Eastman's former university wants to hand over 19,000 of his emails on its server to Congress: report
On Monday, Yahoo News' Michael Isikoff reported that Chapman University supports a subpoena from the House January 6 Committee requesting 19,000 emails from pro-Trump lawyer John Eastman relating to his work for the former president to overturn the 2020 presidential election, which are apparently on the school servers.
At a hearing on the matter, a lawyer for the university said that Eastman's use of their server to conduct that business was "improper, unauthorized and I liken to contraband."
At hearing on Eastman emails, lawyer for Chapman U backs 1/6 panel subpoena to turn over 19,000 emails on its server relating to prof's representation of Trump. Says any use of university server for that purpose was "improper, unauthorized and I liken to contraband."— Michael Isikoff (@Michael Isikoff) 1643065849
Eastman, who previously taught constitutional law at Chapman University, was forced into retirement after he spoke at the pro-Trump "Stop the Steal" rally calling to overturn the election that immediately preceded the attack on the Capitol on January 6.
It was subsequently revealed that he drafted a memo for the Trump team outlining a strategy to execute a coup using Vice President Mike Pence to toss out the electors of several states that narrowly voted for Joe Biden, a strategy Pence rejected as unconstitutional.
'Clearly forgery': Watergate lawyer says Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn badly incriminated himself on live TV
Former Watergate attorney Jill Wine-Banks explained to MSNBC's Ari Melber that Republicans who signed onto a false document claiming to be an elector when they weren't and then submitted to the government is a crime.
While discussing the fake electors scheme on Monday, Melber played a clip of former President Donald Trump's campaign adviser, Boris Epshteyn, who effectively admitted to being part of the 2020 elector conspiracy on live television.
"Yes, I was part of the process to make sure there were alternate electors for when, as we hoped, the challenges to the seated electors would be heard and be successful," he confessed.
Reacting to this, Wine-Banks said she certainly would love to be the lawyer on the other side of his case, implying that it would be an easy win. Responding to Epshteyn, she said that he didn't do it legally because you can't create a fake slate of electors. It's fraud, she explained, and a conspiracy to interfere with the election, conspiracy to interfere with an official congressional proceeding, and conspiracy to commit forgery within the federal laws and state laws.
"You noted that two of the states caveated their forgeries by saying 'this is only good in the event that the legitimate slate of Democratic electors fails,'" she reclled. "Then we become the electors. But the other states all said we are the dually elected electors. That is clearly forgery. And there is a forgery statute not for forging money, which is normally how you think of forgery, but for other government-related documents."
Melber then played a clip of Epshteyn on Steve Bannon's show, trying to clean up the MSNBC interview.
"All I did was very calmly, methodically walk through the law," he claimed. "As the legal team, it was our job to make sure every constituency was covered. So, hence the process that was undertaken. It was loud and clear on MSNBC that, one, President Trump won the election. Two, that it was stolen. Three, a legal case was laid out."
Wine-Banks shot down every point he tried to make.
"There was no contingency in existence," she said to Epshteyn's claims. "It was clear who won the votes in that state. We have a rule where we count the votes of the people. Not the people who wanted it to be somebody else. But if you vote, your vote gets counted. You vote for an elector and only that elector can represent you and cast the ballot at the Electoral College. We should amend the Electoral College Act. We should eliminate the Electoral College. We have ways of communicating that do not require the Electoral College as it was set up in a time there weren't the official communication methods that we now have. But even under the laws now, there was nothing legal about what they did. And the elector slates were certified or ascertained, is the official word, were ascertained by each state, signed off by the governor, and sent officially to the Congress to be counted."
Wine-Banks closed by explaining specifics of how this case is somewhat similar to the plots in the Watergate scandal.
See the discussion below:
The fake electors are guilty of forgery: Watergate lawyer www.youtube.com