Minnesota Representative Jim Hagedorn (R-01-MN) is being investigated by the House Ethics Committee. The announcement comes after Hagedorn’s wife, Jennifer Carnahan, stepped down as the chair of the Minnesota GOP following allegations of harassment, abuse, and ties to a child sex trafficker, Anton Lazzaro.
As reported by Bring Me The News, “The committee’s chairman and ranking member released a brief statement Tuesday, noting they chose to ‘extend the matter’ regarding Hagedorn.”
According to a statement made by Hagedorn’s lawyer, Elliot Berke, Hagedorn reported himself to the Ethics Committee. Berke said, “Congressman Hagedorn personally self-reported this matter to the Ethics Committee last year and will continue working with it to bring it to an appropriate conclusion.”
No details have been disclosed yet, regarding the reason for the investigation, which has been taking place since it was transmitted to the committee by the Office of Congressional Ethics on July 23.
Berke went on to call the probe a “waste of taxpayer funds.” Berke said, “The fact that the OCE, which provides non-binding recommendations to the Ethics Committee, decided to investigate something that was already under review was a waste of taxpayer funds and House resources.”
The statement from the House Ethics Committee reads, “The Committee notes that the mere fact of a referral or an extension, and the mandatory disclosure of such an extension and the name of the subject of the matter, does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the Committee.”
Their final decision and further actions will be announced by October 21, according to the committee.
Hagedorn was reportedly also investigated last year for spending thousands of campaign dollars at a company owned by one of his staffers. When that claim was investigated in August 2020, Hagedorn released a statement saying he was unaware of the ethics violation and that he also reported this violation to the Committee himself:
When I became aware of this matter approximately two months ago, I took immediate action by hiring outside counsel to perform an independent review, making senior-level personnel changes, and reestablishing best practices for staff and the acquisition of services.
I also advised the House Committees of jurisdiction, House Administration and Ethics, of our independent review, which remains ongoing. Moving forward, I will continue to provide the Committees with findings from our review and offer recommendations to improve House franking operations.
While these relatively routine duties were fully delegated to my former Chief of Staff and our finance officer, I acknowledge responsibility for the oversight of my office and will continue to make any necessary management improvements.
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