Rep Buchanan: Ethics Charges Are Politically Motivated

Saturday, 23 Jun 2012 08:57 PM

By Nick Sanchez

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Florida Rep. Vern Buchanan has fired back at investigators who have accused him of fraud and witness tampering, saying a Federal Elections Commission investigation against him is "politically motivated."

“We are confident that the Justice Department and House Ethics Committee will reach the same conclusion,” a spokesman for the three-term Republican told CNN.

Buchanan's former business partner Sam Kazran has accused the congressman of forcing him to participate in a money-laundering scheme in which employees of Buchanan’s auto dealerships were forced to make political donations and were later reimbursed. He also claims Buchanan asked him to sign an affidavit stating that the congressman was unaware of the scheme in return for settling a $2.9 million lawsuit. CNN said there are four separate investigations now ongoing.
 
In a recent report, the Office of Congressional Ethics wrote, "There is substantial reason to believe that Buchanan attempted to influence the testimony of a witness in a proceeding before the FEC.”

Lawyers for Buchanan, who represents a district south of Tampa Bay, have asked to seal the documents of the case, with Kazran’s lawyers bemoaning the motion as an affront to free speech.

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