House ethics panel decides against probe after Hank Johnson civil disobedience

House ethics panel decides against probe after Hank Johnson civil disobedience
© Greg Nash

The House Ethics Committee on Friday said it won’t pursue an investigation into Rep. Hank JohnsonHenry (Hank) C. JohnsonHillicon Valley: Senators want answers about Amazon's biometric data collection | House members release companion bill targeting app stores | Google files to dismiss Ohio lawsuit House members release companion bill targeting app stores Rep. Al Green, Texas state lawmaker arrested outside Capitol during voting rights protest MORE (D-Ga.), who was arrested by Capitol Police last week for staging a voting rights protest in the Hart Senate Office Building.

“The Committee has determined to take no further action in this matter, and upon publication of this Report, considers the matter closed,” the panel said in a statement.

House rules state that when a member is charged with illegal conduct of any kind, the Ethics Committee must either launch an investigation or explain to the chamber why it declined to do so.

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The panel rarely pursues investigations into protest-related arrests of lawmakers.

Johnson, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), was arrested July 22, following the arrest of CBC Chairwoman Joyce BeattyJoyce Birdson BeattyHarris, CBC put weight behind activist-led National Black Voter Day Activists gear up for voting rights march to mark King anniversary GOP hopefuls fight for Trump's favor in Ohio Senate race MORE (D-Ohio) the previous week.

On Thursday, Rep. Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeAngelina Jolie spotted in Capitol meeting with senators Elon Musk after Texas Gov. Abbott invokes him: 'I would prefer to stay out of politics' Without major changes, more Americans could be victims of online crime MORE (D-Texas) continued the trend. The CBC member was arrested by Capitol Police after she blocked one of the entrances to the Hart building with voting rights activists.

Civil disobedience has become the CBC’s latest strategy to move the needle on voting rights legislation, which has stalled in the Senate due to GOP opposition to bills like the sweeping For the People Act and the John LewisJohn LewisHarris, CBC put weight behind activist-led National Black Voter Day Budowsky: High stakes drama for Biden, Manchin, Sinema Stacey Abrams backs Senate Democrats' voting rights compromise MORE Voting Rights Advancement Act.