Representatives Ronny Jackson and Wesley Hunt sought campaign cash to pay club dues

From left, Representatives Monica De La Cruz, R-Texas, Wesley Hunt, R-Texas, Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, and Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, display temporary Texas tattoos to mark Texas Independence Day, March 2nd, on the steps of the U.S. Capitol following the final vote of the week on Wednesday, March 1, 2023.

Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | beautiful images

The House Ethics Committee said Monday it would consider a congressional watchdog agency report found “substantial reason” to believe that U.S. Representatives Ronny Jackson and Wesley Hunt used thousands of dollars in campaign funds for their personal use.

According to separate reports from the independent Office of Congressional Ethics, the campaign committees of two Republican lawmakers, both representing districts in Texas, made payments to private social clubs. multiplied for many years.

Jackson’s committee, Texans for Ronny Jackson, spent nearly $12,000 on fees, charges, meals and other expenses related to the Amarillo Club, a dining club, gym and meeting room in Amarillo, Texas, from 2020 to 2024, office found.

Hunt’s campaign committee paid more than $5,400 in fees and charges to the Oak Room, a private club located at the Post Oak Hotel in Houston, in 2022 and 2023, according to OCE.

In both reports, the office said it found “substantial reason to believe” that each congressman “converted campaign funds” from their campaign committees “to personal use” or or that their committee “expenditures monies other than for bona fide campaign or political purposes.”

The bipartisan House Ethics Committee said in a press release Monday afternoon that it received a referral from OCE about Jackson and Hunt in late March. The panel, led by Chairman Michael Guest, R-Miss., and ranking member Susan Wild, D-Pa., jointly decided to consider the issue on May 9.

The press release for Hunt included a lengthy response from the congressman’s lawyers, who denied any campaign money has gone towards personal use.

“All payments by Hunt for Congress to the Post Oak Hotel, including membership to the Post Oak Club, are solely for campaign-related purposes and are not for personal use ,” the congressman’s attorney wrote in a 12-page response to OCE Report.

The attorneys wrote that Hunt “does not maintain a campaign office” and that he decided the Oak Room membership fee “would be a more prudent use of campaign funds” than renting a campaign office in Houston.

“We believe we have fully cooperated with the House Ethics Committee and we expect this to be dismissed soon,” a spokesperson for Hunt’s office told CNBC.

Jackson’s office did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment. The ethics committee press release attached to Jackson did not include any response from his representatives.

Read more political news from CNBC

The OCE reports note that if either congressman’s campaign committee spent money “other than for a bona fide campaign or political purpose,” the congressman “may have violated the House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law.”

The reports say that neither Jackson nor Hunt cooperated with their investigation, although Hunt “initially” gave “some limited information”. OCE recommended that the House Ethics Committee issue subpoenas to both congressmen.

Jackson, who before joining Congress in 2020 served as White House physician under then-Presidents Barack Obama And Donald Trumpused to be previously charged by OCE regarding the misuse of campaign donations at the Amarillo Club.

In the more than two years since the House Ethics Committee announced those allegations, Jackson’s campaign has “continued to make consistent payments to the Amarillo Club,” according to the disclosure report on Monday.

Don’t miss these insights from CNBC PRO


News 7F: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button