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Cantor 'very concerned' about criminal probe of freshman

The second-ranking House Republican said for the first time Monday he is “very concerned” about the criminal investigations into Rep. David Rivera (R) in Florida.
 
“There are ongoing investigations in Florida involving Congressman Rivera, and we are respectful of those investigations,” Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told reporters at his weekly press briefing. “I’m obviously very concerned about the reports surrounding those investigations, but we’ll wait to see the results of them.”
 

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Florida law enforcement officials are investigating Rivera, a freshman elected in November, for allegedly failing to disclose $137,000 in loans, and The Associated Press has reported that Rivera paid himself hundreds of thousands of dollars in unexplained campaign reimbursements over his eight years in the State Legislature.

Rivera has denied wrongdoing, but Republican leaders have reportedly been scouting potential replacements if he is unable to serve out his term or run for reelection. Cantor did not appear with Rivera when he traveled to Miami last week, and his comments Monday echoed what his spokesman said a few days ago.
 
Cantor’s comments were a notable departure from those made by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in January. Boehner noted that the allegations against Rivera did not involve his service in Congress.

 “We’re waiting to see how this plays out,” Boehner said.
 
As Democrats have repeatedly pointed out, Republican leaders have pledged a “no tolerance” policy with regard to ethics after hammering the Democratic majority on the issue in the last four years.