House Ethics Committee to Investigate Rep. Troy Nehls of Texas

Washington — The bipartisan House Ethics Committee is investigating Richmond Rep. Troy Nehls. The investigation's focus was unclear, but Nehls said it was related to his campaign's finances.

Tuesday, the committee announced it was investigating an issue submitted to its members on Dec. 11 and will determine its next steps by May 10. Investigative findings show no ethics violations. Nehls indicated Tuesday he would work with the committee.

“My campaign has complied with every Federal Election Commission (FEC) law, and my books are open,” he stated. U.S. Rep. Michael Guest, R-Mississippi, chairs the committee of five Democrats and five Republicans. Veronica Escobar, D-El Paso, is the lone Texan on the committee. Guest and ranking member Susan Wild, D-Pennsylvania, agreed to investigate.

On Capitol Hill, Nehls' colorful demeanor has caused controversy. Nehls, a Trump supporter, often criticizes Democrats or breaks protocol to make a point. He supported Trump for House speaker after Kevin McCarthy was fired and wore a Trump T-shirt to the State of the Union. He wrote a 2022 book alleging Trump stole the 2020 election.

It also caused rude comments from other members. Nehls labeled Rep. Cori Bush's husband a “thug” earlier this year. Bush and her Black husband called the comment racist. The Congressional Black Caucus and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries condemned the comment. Nehls did not retract the comment.

Wire fraud cost Nehls' campaign over $150,000 last year, prompting a Federal Election Commission investigation. The effort recovered almost $130,000 of the stolen monies, which were transferred to “Misty J Productions.” Before Congress, Nehls was discharged from the Richmond Police Department in 1998 for mishandling evidence and defying orders.

The House Ethics Committee investigates member and staff rule infractions. It refers violations to the full House for disciplinary action and to the Justice Department for criminal inquiry. Last year, the House Ethics Committee recommended former New York Rep. George Santos, R, to the Justice Department for campaign financing crimes. The full House expelled Santos in December after the committee reported its findings.

In April 2022, the committee began investigating U.S. Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Amarillo, after the Office of Congressional Ethics found that he inappropriately utilized campaign money to pay for social club memberships. The committee published its report in May but did not include its own findings.

However, several inquiries ended innocently. In 2022, U.S. Rep. Pat Fallon, R-Sherman, was investigated for late financial reporting. The committee unanimously closed the investigation after finding no evidence Fallon willfully missed the deadline.

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