The House Ethics Committee publicly acknowledged Monday it is conducting a review into Florida Senate candidate Rep. Alan GraysonAlan GraysonRubio Senate challenger drops out Dem rep mocks Ryan’s sit-in response The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE.
In a statement, the panel said it will issue a decision by April 5 on whether to open a formal investigation into Grayson’s activities related to his management of a hedge fund while serving as a member.
If the committee decides not to proceed with an investigation, it must release the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) report on the case.
Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidSay NO to PROMESA, say NO to Washington overreach Overnight Finance: Wall Street awaits Brexit result | Clinton touts biz support | New threat to Puerto Rico bill? | Dodd, Frank hit back McConnell quashes Senate effort on guns MORE (D-Nev.) earlier this month called on Grayson to drop out of the primary one day after a New York Times report showing emails from top aides urging Grayson to close his hedge fund to avoid media scrutiny.
House ethics rules prohibit members from earning outside income beyond $27,495.
Monday’s statement from the House Ethics Committee indicates that the OCE, an independent watchdog, has recommended a full investigation. The Ethics panel has a maximum of 90 days to decide to follow through with a probe or release the report once OCE makes the recommendation. The Ethics Committee statement did not explicitly mention the allegations surrounding the hedge fund, but media accounts have reported that the panel has been reviewing the matter.
Establishment Democrats have been rallying around Grayson’s opponent, Rep. Patrick Murphy, in the primary for the seat being vacated by Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioRubio: 'I didn't run for the Senate to run for president again' Sunday shows preview: Next steps after Trump upheaval O'Malley gives Trump a nickname: 'Chicken Donald' MORE (R-Fla.), who is running for president. Many Democrats believe Murphy would be more competitive in a general election and see Grayson as too much of a firebrand.
Murphy’s campaign quickly seized upon the Ethics Committee’s acknowledgment Monday.
“Alan Grayson has demonstrated a pattern of unethical and reckless behavior, using his elected office to promote his offshore hedge fund. Mr. Grayson needs to come clean with congressional investigators — and owes his constituents an apology for failing to put them first,” Murphy said in a statement.
Grayson, through a spokesman, expressed confidence that the committee's review would show no wrongdoing.
The hedge fund was created in 2011 after Grayson lost reelection to the House. He later won election back to the lower chamber in 2012.