House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) has consistently touted reform, claiming he wants to impose a “tougher ethical standard” on the 110th Congress. In June, he forcefully called for the expulsion of Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA). More recently, he called for a moratorium on earmarks.
But Boehner is ethical only when it’s politically convenient. Boehner has donated money to pay the legal bills of Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA), who recently announced his resignation because of continuing troubles related to the Jack Abramoff corruption investigation. CQ reports:
Rep. John T. Doolittle , R-Calif., reported in a filing made available Thursday that his legal expense fund had received $5,000 from Boehner’s leadership PAC. The money was part of $36,500 kicked in by GOP colleagues to Doolittle’s legal defense between June 27, when he opened the fund, and year’s end.
Boehner made the donation because Doolittle “was a friend dating to the early 1990s, when they worked together as part of the Gang of Seven,” Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith said, referring to then-minority party back-benchers who took on majority Democrats during the House banking scandal.
At least nine other lawmakers who have given money to Doolittle, including Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA). The money was donated before Doolittle announced his retirement on Jan. 10.
Boehner has repeatedly promoted corrupt colleagues to leadership positions, and in October, ruled that Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) could continue as the ranking GOP member of the Appropriations Committee while under federal investigation on ethics charges.