House races

Report: Rep. Buchanan faces probes

Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) is under investigation by Congress and the federal government on at least four charges, CNN reported Saturday.

The congressman is under investigation over his business actions, campaign coffers and alleged witness tampering after a former business colleague accused him of running a straw donor scheme, according to CNN.

{mosads}Buchanan’s office told CNN that the congressman has not done anything wrong and that the allegations are “politically motivated.”

“We are confident that the Justice Department and House Ethics Committee will reach the same conclusion,” his office told CNN in a statement.

An investigation by the House Ethics Committee was extended in May after Buchanan was accused of witness tampering. Buchanan is also being investigated for witness tampering by federal investigators, CNN reported.

Buchanan’s former business partner, Sam Kazran, has accused Buchanan of asking for help to solicit illegal contributions from his employees, The Hill previously reported.

Specifically, Buchanan has been accused of his campaign reimbursing employees at a car dealership he owned for contributions they made to his campaign, and later coercing Kazran to make false a statement about the activity.

“It was to a point where I said, ‘Chief, we can’t give you this kind of money. At which point he said, ‘Just run it through the corporation,’” Kazran told CNN. “What he said to me was ‘Get people to write a check to the campaign and then pay them back through the corporation.’”

Buchanan asked Kazran to sign a false affidavit that said the congressman was not involved in the alleged business misconduct he is being investigated for, Kazran told CNN. Kazran says he was offered an almost $3 million settlement, if he signed the testimony.

“He was holding the settlement in escrow,” Kazran’s attorney Robert Stok told CNN. “He basically said, ‘We can settle, but there’s one little thing remaining. All you have to do is sign this affidavit. We release the settlement and everything will be rosy for you.’”

Kazran did not sign the testimony and instead brought it to investigators.

Buchanan is currently in a competitive election, with The Hill rating his race as “lean Republican.”

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