Nevada Democrat Hit With Ethics Complaint Over Affair With Former Intern

Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV) (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
May 21, 2020

A government watchdog group filed an ethics complaint against Rep. Steven Horsford (D., Nev.) on Wednesday alleging the congressman abused his position and potentially broke the law while concealing a decade-long affair with a former intern.

In a letter Americans for Public Trust, a nonpartisan government accountability organization, requested the House Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) launch a full investigation into Horsford. The investigation would determine whether he offered money to or used the power of his office on behalf of Gabriela Linder, an intern with whom the congressman admitted to having an affair.

"Representative Steven Horsford's concealment of an ongoing affair implicates an abuse of his official position and potentially federal law. His use of financial payments, staff time, and repeated run-ins with legal obligations betray the public trust," the letter states.

"Ultimately, his conduct for the past ten years destroys the credibility of his office and fails to maintain the integrity of the House. Therefore, we respectfully urge OCE to investigate this matter and any potential violations of federal law and standards of House ethics."

The letter also said other aspects of Horsford’s history provide reason for an investigation.

"Representative Horsford’s past behavior of unpaid debts, contractual violations, and traffic citations demonstrates a perpetual history of failing to abide by the law," it said. "His lack of transparency in his own life fails to reflect positively upon the House, warranting investigation."

Horsford's office did not respond to a request for comment.

Americans for Public Trust's executive director Caitlin Sutherland told the Washington Free Beacon, "These are very serious allegations, and we encourage the Office of Congressional Ethics to review this matter."

Horsford's staff told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Wednesday that the congressman never gave money to Linder from either his congressional or campaign funds. The Review-Journal originally reported the congressman's affair on Friday after interviewing Linder, who had previously described her affair with the congressman on a podcast in which she did not reveal her identity.