Ethics Committee extends reviews of Bachmann, three other lawmakers

The House Ethics Committee announced on Friday it would extend ongoing ethics reviews of four House members until Sept. 11, after the August break. 

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The committee continued reviews into House Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), and Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.), and John Tierney (D-Mass.). 

The committee typically announces few details about ongoing matters and today did not say whether formal investigations against these members have, or would be, established. 

The committee usually considers ethics matters for 45 days but can extend this consideration for another 45 days, which is what the committee announced today.

At the end of the 90-day period, the committee can either dismiss an examination, launch a formal investigation or reveal that a formal investigation has already led it to certain conclusions.

Roskam released a statement today indicating that the issue has to do with travel he took to Taiwan.

"The record reflects that Rep. Roskam fully complied with all laws, rules, and procedures related to privately sponsored travel," Roskam spokeswoman Stephanie Kittredge said. "The trip was vetted and approved by the House Ethics Committee, the body legally authorized to make determinations on Congressional conduct.

"The [Office of Congressional Ethics] is wrong to take issue with the involvement of the Government of Taiwan in planning and conducting the trip, a matter that is routine, allowed under the law, and was known to the House Ethics Committee as they thoroughly vetted and approved the trip."

Regarding the other members, the committee is thought to be examining whether Bachmann's campaign violated campaign finance laws during her White House run in 2012.

The committee — which is comprised of House members from both parties — is thought to be looking into possible impropriety surrounding $223,00 that Tierney's wife received for managing an account for her brother, who is a fugitive from U.S. law.

And on Bishop, the committee is thought to be examining whether he asked for a campaign contribution after doing a favor for a constituent.

— This story was updated at 3:06 p.m. to include comment from Roskam's office.