The House Ethics Committee publicly acknowledged Monday it is conducting a review into Florida Senate candidate Rep. Alan GraysonAlan Mark GraysonDeSantis tops Crist, Fried in poll of Florida governor race Florida Rep. Val Demings officially enters Senate race against Rubio Demings raises Democrats' hopes in uphill fight to defeat Rubio 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.
Grayson’s hedge fund has been looming over Florida's Aug. 30 Senate Democratic primary.
Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidHarry Reid calls on Democrats to plow forward on immigration Democrats brace for tough election year in Nevada The Memo: Biden's horizon is clouded by doubt 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 Antonio RubioSenate GOP campaign arm outraises Democratic counterpart in September House passes bills to secure telecommunications infrastructure Senators call for answers from US firm over reported use of forced Uyghur labor in China 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.