The Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), a nonpartisan body staffed by professional investigators, was established to examine possible ethics violations by House members and, if necessary, to refer its cases to the House Ethics Committee.
The OCE has referred 30 members and staffers to the House Ethics Committee for further examination, according to its official website – 18 Democrats and 12 Republicans.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the committee opted not to investigate all but 8 of those cases.
The Congressional Black Caucus, which voted overwhelming for the OCE’s creation, have accused the group of disproportionately targeted its members. Seven of the caucus’s 42 members have been referred to the ethics committee.
The OCE’s eight-member board includes Abner Mikva, a Chicago political heavyweight who was one of President Obama’s earliest backers.