‘Substantial’ Evidence of Bribery against Democrat Rep, Investigators Reveal
Rep. Marie Newman (D-IL) under investigation for bribing primary opponent to drop out
Investigators have revealed that there's "substantial" evidence to prove that a Democrat U.S. congresswoman bribed her primary opponent to drop out of the race.
As Neon Nettle first reported, the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) revealed on Monday that it was investigating allegations that Rep. Marie Newman (D-IL) offered a potential 2020 primary opponent a job in her office in exchange for their decision not to run.
Newman defeated fellow Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski in a heated 2020 primary.
However, the ethics probe obtained evidence that Newman offered Iymen Chehade a job within her congressional office in exchange for an understanding that he would not enter the race.
According to investigators probing the case, they now have "substantial reason to believe" that Newman committed the crime.
"Rep. Newman, during a successful campaign for election to the U.S. House of Representatives, may have promised federal employment to a primary opponent for the purpose of procuring political support,” the OCE said in its report.
The OCE stated that Newman "violated federal law" if she "used her candidacy to promise federal employment.”
Newman is accused of promising Chehade a job as her “foreign policy advisor and either District Director or Legislative Director” in a potential future congressional office in return for not running against her.
Newman told the body that she sought to hire Chehade, a Palestinian-American professor, because of his knowledge of foreign and Arab-American affairs, which she felt was a shortcoming of her 2018 campaign.
The Illinois progressive claims Chehade’s potential 2020 plans did not factor into their discussions.
However, documents she herself provided to the body seemed to contradict her testimony.
In a draft contract attached to an October 2018 email, Chehade says he will not “announce or submit his candidacy” for that district, and that “in exchange” he would be hired as Newman’s chief foreign policy advisor.
The two parties signed a contract in December 2018 and agreed that Chehade would be paid between $135,000 and $140,000
Business Insider reported:
But after that job did not materialize for Chehade, he sued Newman in January 2021 to enforce the contract they’d signed.
Newman’s legal counsel, in seeking to dismiss the case, acknowledged to the House General Counsel that her contract “was violative of House employment and federal contracting rules,” according to the OCE report.
That lawsuit was then settled in June 2021 and included a nondisclosure agreement …
But in May 2021, the conservative Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust filed a complaint with OCE, spurring the congressional inquiry.
Newman’s team claimed in a response that the OCE investigation failed to “present grounds for investigation” and claimed that “virtually every element of the allegation is false.”
“Based on the foregoing information, the Board finds that there is substantial reason to believe that during a successful campaign for election to the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Newman may have promised federal employment to a primary opponent for the purpose of procuring political support,” the OCE report concluded.
“Accordingly, the Board recommends that the Committee further review the above allegation that Rep. Newman may have promised federal employment to a primary opponent for the purpose of procuring political support.”
The Board voted 6-0 to refer the case to the House Ethics Committee.