Wondering why the House Ethics Committee exonerated every single lawmaker touched by the PMA Group campaign contributions-for-earmarks scandal? They didn’t interview anyone:
The Feb. 26 ethics committee report concluding that no House Members colluded with the PMA Group lobbying firm to exchange earmarks for campaign contributions indicated that the committee had been investigating the matter since the spring of 2009.
But Roll Call has been unable to locate a single Member of Congress or company that was interviewed or asked for documents by the ethics committee, and a variety of sources said they believe that the committee did virtually no additional investigation beyond the draft reports on seven Members that were produced by the independent Office of Congressional Ethics.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports that the line was thin between earmarking and fundraising in these member offices:
In detailing how the lawmakers approached their earmarking, however, the ethics report and accompanying reports by the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) made clear that the wall between grants and donations in their offices was in many instances very thin. Key individuals in their offices played at least some role in both activities, starting with the lawmakers and typically including staff members responsible for reviewing and making preliminary earmark decisions.