Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 8, 2016

Why Is the House Ethics Committee Investigating Markwayne Mullin? (Updated)

The House Ethics Committee may launch a formal investigation into freshman Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., according to an official statement from the panel on Thursday afternoon.

What exactly Mullin is being investigated for, however, is still unknown to the public.

Update 10:15 a.m.

The ethics progress is shrouded in secrecy. Cases are referred to the bipartisan committee by the quasi-independent Office of Congressional Ethics, which has already completed its own inquiry into the matter. Everyone — from OCE board members to Ethics Committee lawmakers to aides for both entities — are bound by strict confidentiality agreements and are notoriously tight-lipped.

In many cases, a member’s alleged misconduct is reported in the press prior to an announcement from the committee that the matter is under formal review after the OCE referral; the incident leading to an investigation might have been widely known, or sources might have leaked information to journalists, which was the case earlier Thursday regarding charges against House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington.

But as of Thursday evening, Mullin did not have such a “paper trail” to contextualize the ethics inquiry.

Mullin’s office would also not illuminate the matter.

“Congressman Mullin is cooperating with the House Ethics Committee and believes he is in full compliance with all ethics rules,” a spokesman said in a statement. “There will be no further comment at this time.”

During his campaign for office in 2012, Mullin was the subject of a complaint, which was ultimately dismissed, with the Federal Election Commission. In that case, the FEC looked into whether Mullin made an “excessive number” of redesignations and reattributions of campaign contributions and used resources from his plumbing business to produce and promote campaign videos and print advertisements.

The Ethics Committee is required to provide the public with an update on the investigation by March 24.

Daniel Newhauser contributed to this report.

  • TruthWinsOut

    It could be so, so many reasons. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Talk this evening has brings back people wondering which of oodles of stuff it could be- when Mullin had lots and lots and lots of corporate ads for Mullin plumbing in our big tulsa radio market using his own voice and “I’m Markwayne Mullin” for mullin Plumbing…The RED ROOTER during the primary election to raise his name profile with corporate money to help him win his election and then doubled down with campaign commercials. And showin up on the local radio with his own plumbing talk show where they talked about his congressional run in the middle of talk of sewage issues. The tv news showed a big press conference at his corporate HQ of Mullin Plumbing during the primary in Tulsa during company business time to say there was nothing to the worries about his activities with felon employees (, the bunches of Mullin Plumbing vans – huge white letters on the side- roaming the district way outside of his plumbing territory with employees not seeming to actually be doing any jobs in an area, then after he got the congressional job, he hires his former political consultant as his chief of staff – while still owing money to that political firm from the campaign . Ah we are pretty darn sure us voters know just the tip of the iceberg of what all he’s really been up to – we’ve been waiting for you reporters to really do some research and see what more you can find instead of posting and saying you wonder what he could have done. He only won the job because he had a lot of money and so much advertising that in our poor district, and he created an image making people think he was something better. But really, our district deserves better than him.

  • The Savage Hombre

    Since liberty’s survival depends upon the majority of citizens making it their primary objective, liberty has a limited chance of lasting if the mere existence of democratic processes is expected to preserve it.

  • Danny Earl

    I don’t know the reason they are giving, but I would bet one of the REAL reasons is shown in this video. He is making too many waves in Washington!

    • Jamey Mullin

      Very good thought… hmmm, time fits!

  • Liberalism is Nonsense

    Our creativity, moral standards, learned customs, and traditions are four of the key differences between mankind and the other animals.

  • Dave Simpson

    Markwayne Mullen raised $113,000 in Leadership PAC funds since he began his political career. Numerous requests from me to his office and him have been ignored. I wonder if the use of this $113,000 which he has refused to explain could be the cause of this ethics investigation.

  • Hitched

    Since competition is a process of adaptation and discovery, it is superior to altruistic cooperation for use in a vast, distributed, impersonal civilization.

  • Jamey Mullin

    Since it relates to my brother, I can assure you all. This isnt the “huge secret scandal” the media is hoping it is. Washington carreer politicians want it to be an exlusive “like minded” club. They create and interpret rules to not allow businessmen to serve the office. While Markwayne serves in Washington, his company is still here and operating while he serves in office. Over a hundered families in Oklahoma depend on his company remaining successful while he serves our country. He is no longer the CEO, but is a stockholder and has an interest in ensuring the business is successful for the families that depend on the company. Does serving our country mean you must sell all your stock? Does such service mean you are unable to ensure the families that put their financial trust and well being, can no longer be secure since you are now serving the country? That is the way I understand it….

    • Harlin Hendricks

      Thanks Jamey, just what I thought. This type of ethics complaint does not occur when a democrat holds office because too few are in private practice or business. Same thing happened to Dr.
      Coburn while in the House and Senate.

    • Bill Mason

      Woo Jamey..”Serve his country”? HA Take a little care in how you throw that term around. Our Military makes the real sacrifices and us veterans sure didn’t get to run BIG business while we SERVED.

      • Jamey Mullin

        Bill, first of all.. if you served our country in the military I would like to thank you. Further, I would like you to do some research and you will find few in Washington that support our veterans as does Markwayne. Many in our family have honorably served our military. Our Grandfather is one of the few World War II veterans still living. If you feel being a US Congressman is not service to our country.. you will find the majority of voters in Oklahoma district 2 disagree with you. Especially a decorated World War II vet, that is proud of his grandsons service!

    • Class No More

      What about the child from another mother?

  • KC

    It seems that Mullins walks the line on ethics and morals. How about his child from another Mother.

  • Martin Mayberry

    I think he is a good man they are smearing him!

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