The Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) is investigating New Jersey Democratic Rep. Rob Andrews for possibly using campaign and political action committee money for a family trip to Scotland in June 2011.
“Andrews may have also improperly used congressional campaign funds to pay for various trips to Los Angeles in 2011 and for his daughter’s graduation party in June 2011, among other potential personal uses,” the OCE wrote in a referral.
The report from the OCE was released last week. The interview with the congressman happened in March 2012. The board voted unanimously 6-0 that “the Committee on Ethics further review the allegations concerning Representative Andrews because there is a substantial reason to believe that he improperly used congressional campaign and Leadership PAC funds for personal use, in violation of House rules and federal law.”
The information to the OCE came from a “political consultant” who is referred to as Witness 1 in the report. Andrews states that Witness 1 is a volunteer political consultant who has been doing opposition research for him and is someone he would like to work with in the future. Witness 1 told the OCE that he and the congressman have both a personal and political friendship. Andrews’ wife only knows Witness 1 politically and not personally.
Andrews and his family flew to Scotland in June 2011 for a wedding of a family friend. After the wedding, Andrews flew to London. When questioned if the trip to the United Kingdom was political in nature, Andrews told the OCE, “That wasn’t the purpose of the trip. The purpose of the trip was to broaden and deepen this relationship with Witness 1 and to make it more likely he would help us in the future.”