Rep. Honda makes changes under Ethics probe

The House Ethics Committee announced Monday that it will extend its investigation of Rep. Mike HondaMichael (Mike) Makoto HondaSilicon Valley lawmaker backs Apple in terror case Rep. Honda makes changes under Ethics probe Dems ready for rematch in Silicon Valley MORE (D-Calif.) through Sept. 3.

The allegations in a report conducted by the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), have not been publicly released, but could be at that time.

Neither OCE nor the Ethics Committee will state at this time what the investigation is about. But Honda's campaign indicated it is related to allegations that he violated House rules by mixing electoral and official business.

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A 2014 San Jose Inside report showed emails between Jennifer Van der Heide, Honda's chief of staff, and Lamar Heystek, Honda's then-campaign manager, coordinating invitations to a State Department roundtable. House rules prohibit lawmakers from linking a solitication for campaign contributions with congressional office duties.

Supporters of Ro Khanna, the Democrat challenging Honda for reelection, subsequently filed a complaint.

Honda announced Monday that he will institute a new policy that prevents congressional staff from volunteering on his reelection campaign to avoid future mishaps.

"I believe this action provides clarity for the public and a bright line for my staff that far exceeds anything required by the House of Representatives," Honda said.

Honda campaign spokesman Adam Alberti portrayed the complaint as fueled more by politics than legitimate ethics concerns, arguing that the allegations did not meet the level of violating House rules. 

“The notice by the House Ethics Committee is simply part of the process that began with a politically motivated complaint issued by Mike Honda’s opponent and his supporters during the last campaign,” Alberti said in a statement.

Alberti accused Khanna, a former Obama administration official who proven to be an effective fundraiser, of trying to offer a distraction.

"Mike Honda is fully prepared for his well-funded and overly-ambitious challenger to continue to raise this issue in order to deflect from the urgent issues facing the constituents of CA 17 and the accomplishments delivered by Rep. Honda," Alberti added.