House

Proposed House GOP rules would force indicted lawmakers to step down from leader roles: report

New proposed rules for House GOP members would force any Republican indicted for a felony to step down from their committee assignment or leadership role.

According to a new rule, any committee member indicted on a felony "for which a sentence of two or more years imprisonment may be imposed" will be required to submit a resignation from their role to the House "promptly."

Under the new rule, the Republican conference will elect a member to temporarily serve in a vacated position should a leadership member be forced to step down.

The rules were first obtained by Politico. The Hill has reached out to the House GOP caucus for comment.

The guidelines come days after Democrats were able to regain control of the House in Tuesday's midterm elections, which also saw the victories of two incumbent Republican congressmen who won their reelection bids after being indicted on felony charges. 

Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), who won his reelection Tuesday, was charged with federal securities fraud in August over allegedly giving nonpublic information about drug trial results to his son in order to help him make timely investments in an Australian pharmaceutical company.

Collins and his son both face federal indictments. Collins turned himself in to the FBI in August, drawing condemnation from House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who removed the congressman from the House Energy and Commerce Committee after his arrest.

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), who was also reelected Tuesday, and his wife were indicted in August on charges of misusing at least $250,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses.

After Ryan said Hunter also would be removed from his committee assignments, Hunter initially refused to relinquish his committee positions. He agreed to step down shortly after to avoid the possibility of having to be forcibly removed by the Steering Committee.

Melanie Zanona contributed to this report.

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