GOP Rep. Ross Spano under investigation by Justice Department

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating Rep. Ross SpanoVincent (Ross) Ross SpanoLawmakers honor JFK on 56th anniversary of his death GOP Rep. Ross Spano under investigation by Justice Department House Ethics Committee reviewing two GOP lawmakers over campaign finance MORE (R-Fla.) over allegations of campaign finance violations, the House Ethics Committee announced Thursday

The committee said it had agreed to defer the review of the allegations to the DOJ at the DOJ's request.

The Ethics Committee had been reviewing the allegations since September.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The Department of Justice has asked the Committee to defer consideration of this matter and the Committee, following precedent, unanimously voted to defer consideration of this matter at this time,” the committee said in the release 

An official for the Department of Justice was not immediately available for comment. 

Ahead of the committee’s review, Spano had faced scrutiny for accepting about $180,000 in loans from friends and using it for his congressional campaign as if it were his own money. 

Campaign finance laws allow candidates to loan their campaigns any amount of personal funds, but loans from others are considered campaign contributions and limited to $2,700 donations per cycle. 

Spano has said he has since repaid the loans and said on Thursday that his office would cooperate fully with the investigation.

"As I’ve said before, we acknowledged that mistakes were made with respect to the campaign loans, but those mistakes were completely inadvertent and unintentional," he said in a statement. "We were the ones who self-reported this to the FEC. We are confident that upon review, the Justice Department will see it that way, too. I continue to have doubts about the timing and motive behind this inquiry, as the impeachment proceedings this week have shown me how far the left will go to destroy their opponents. I remain committed to the issues that are important to my constituents.”