Why lawmakers need legislative counsel

Reuters – The Trump administration on Monday ordered the U.S. Capitol Police to review the oversight of the Congressional Accountability Act of 1974, which bars members of Congress from using taxpayer funds to buy campaign ads.

The Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), which investigates potential ethics violations by members of the House of Representatives, was told in a letter sent Monday that “a review is necessary to ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place to protect the integrity of the congressional proceeding.”

The OCE, which oversees ethics complaints by lawmakers against each other, said in a statement that it is reviewing the guidance to ensure it meets the law’s requirements for congressional oversight.

In the wake of Trump’s November election victory, ethics experts have called for an independent investigation into possible conflicts of interest by House Republicans as they seek to reclaim the House majority.

The congressional ethics committee’s investigation into whether House Speaker Paul Ryan and other top House Republicans broke the law by spending more than $1 million on campaign ads in the last two election cycles is due to be completed by mid-February.

House Republicans have denied any wrongdoing and Ryan said last month that he will continue to represent his district while his fellow Republicans look for ways to avoid potential conflicts of interests.