House panels set up to probe indicted GOP Reps. Collins, Hunter

House panels set up to probe indicted GOP Reps. Collins, Hunter
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The House Ethics Committee voted unanimously Thursday to establish investigative subcommittees to look into Reps. Chris CollinsChristopher (Chris) Carl CollinsFEC filing: No individuals donated to indicted GOP rep this cycle McCarthy holds courtesy meeting with ex-Rep. Grimm Seven Republicans vote against naming post office after ex-Rep. Louise Slaughter MORE (R-N.Y.) and Duncan HunterDuncan Duane HunterGOP Rep. Duncan Hunter accused of violating 'parole' after pretending to cross US-Mexico border Challenger outraises embattled California rep ahead of 2020 rematch Republican's campaign accused of racism for referring to Palestinian opponent as a 'national security threat' MORE (R-Calif.) after their indictments last month.

Collins, who was arrested in early August, faces charges of insider trading and lying to federal agents. Hunter and his wife, Margaret, are being charged with misusing $250,000 in campaign funds and falsifying campaign records. Both lawmakers maintain their innocence.

The special panels will launch probes into whether the congressmen violated the House's official code of conduct. The subcommittee investigating Collins will be led by Reps. Mimi Walters (R-Calif.) and Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchCongress won't get Mueller report until after Barr press conference Deutch in fiery address rips GOP over seeking to make Israel 'wedge issue' House ignores Trump veto threat, approves bill ending US support for Yemen war MORE (D-Fla.), while the investigation into Hunter will be led by Reps. Leonard LanceLeonard LancePush for ‘Medicare for all’ worries centrist Dems Incoming Dem lawmaker: Trump 'sympathizes' with leaders 'accused of moral transgressions' On The Money: Why the tax law failed to save the GOP majority | Grassley opts for Finance gavel, setting Graham up for Judiciary | Trump says China eager for trade deal | Facebook reeling after damning NYT report MORE (R-N.J.) and Anthony BrownAnthony Gregory BrownDivided Dems look to regroup Overnight Defense: Transgender troops rally as ban nears | Trump may call more troops to border | National Guard expects 3M training shortfall from border deployment | Pentagon to find housing for 5,000 migrant children Transgender troops rally as Pentagon prepares to implement ban MORE (D-Md.).

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The Ethics Committee said it will defer its consideration to the Department of Justice at the agency's request while court proceedings continue.

The announcement comes just two months before the November midterm elections as Republicans fight to hold on to the majority in the House.

Democrats are looking to pick up Collins's and Hunter's seats, both of which were once considered GOP strongholds.

Election handicappers at the nonpartisan Cook Political Report shifted both districts following the indictments last month.

Collins announced he would not seek reelection, while Hunter maintains an 8-point lead over his Democratic opponent, Ammar Campa-Najjar, according to a recent poll conducted for the Union-Tribune by SurveyUSA.