Buchanan lawyer reports Fla. lawmaker cleared by DOJ

Rep. Vern Buchanan’s lawyer announced on Tuesday that the Justice Department had cleared the Florida Republican of any wrongdoing and completed its investigation without filing any charges against him.

“As we stated from the beginning, any fair-minded inquiry into these allegations would establish that Congressman Buchanan never engaged in wrongdoing,” said Robert Luskin, an attorney with the Patton Boggs firm working for Buchanan in a statement.

For the better part of the past year, the DOJ has been investigating whether Buchanan instructed a former business partner of his to take campaign donations from employees while illegally reimbursing them. The investigation has also looked into allegations that Buchanan tried to coerce his former business partner to sign a false affidavit. 

Buchanan’s campaign released a statement stating that the head of the DOJ’s Public Integrity division, which investigated allegations of public corruption, gave Buchanan’s lawyers permission to make an announcement of the case’s completion.

The DOJ has neither confirmed nor denied that its case against Buchanan has been concluded, and a spokeswoman for the agency declined to comment.

Buchanan has been plagued by allegations of ethical misconduct for the much of the last year, but both the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the House Ethics Committee have declined to bring any formal charges against him, though the ethics panel is still probing one charge.  

— This story was updated at 7:24 p.m.