February 27, 2012

VIDEO: GOP Leadership Denies Knowledge of FBI Probe Into Rep. Vern Buchanan, Bribery Scandal Surrounding Rep. Buck McKeon

Congressman Buck McKeon (R-CA) was exposed recently as a recipient of a discounted mortgage from troubled subprime lender Countrywide.
In the last month, a wave of corruption stories have rocked the Republican House of Representatives. It was revealed that Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX) was among the recipients of a “Friends of Angelo” VIP mortgage from Countrywide. Republic Report also helped break the story that the wife of Congressman Buck McKeon (R-CA), another recently identified recipient of a discounted Countrywide mortgage, had been receiving campaign funds for her state legislature race from military contractors dependent on McKeon’s legislative largesses. And on Friday, the New York Times reported that Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-FL) is being probed by the FBI and IRS for a number allegations, including the charge that he illegally reimbursed employees for campaign contributions.

Over the weekend, at the California Republican Convention in Burlingame, Republic Report spoke to Congressman Kevin McCarthy, a GOP deputy whip responsible for keeping tabs on his members. Noting that McCarthy’s leadership team announced a “zero tolerance” policy for ethics violations, we asked McCarthy if the public could expect any disciplinary action against members like McKeon and Buchanan, given the news about their respective scandals.

FANG: Congressman McCarthy, when your fellow “Young Gun” assumed the leadership, Eric Cantor, he said there would be a “zero tolerance” policy on ethics violations. This morning, the New York Times reported that Vern Buchanan is being investigated by the FBI. Congressman Buck McKeon and others have received the Countrywide VIP program. Is there going to be any disciplinary action?

MCCARTHY: Well I think if anybody has a problem, there will be disciplinary. But, I haven’t seen the article that you talk of.

Watch the interview here:

McCarthy has built a reputation for his closeness with members of his caucus. The night Republic Report spoke to him, McCarthy related personal stories about Congressman Billy Long (R-MO) and Stephen Fincher (R-TN).

It seems highly unlikely McCarthy missed a New York Times front page story about Buchanan, who serves as the top fundraiser for House Republicans, or missed weeks of stories about McKeon, who has been in the news for his corruption scandal since January.

The revelations concerning the Countrywide VIP scandal reveal that Congressman Ed Towns, a New York Democrat, also received a discounted mortgage.