GOP Chair of House Ethics Committee Under Suspicion

Seattle Times:

Rep. Doc Hastings, already under fire as chairman of the stalled House ethics committee, accepted a $7,800 trip to England in 2000 from a company he championed for a multibillion-dollar contract at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, records released by an advocacy group yesterday show.

In addition, other records released yesterday by a political Web site show that Hastings, a Republican from Pasco, did not file a required travel report for a 2004 trip to a resort on Stuart Island, B.C. That was paid for by another company also working at Hanford.

Hastings has been under fire for not scheduling hearings on ethics allegations against House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. DeLay is accused of accepting a trip paid for by lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who is under investigation over allegations that he defrauded clients of millions of dollars.

For the past two weeks, Democrats have been trying to link Hastings to Abramoff and the lobbyist’s former employer, Preston Gates & Ellis, an influential law and lobbying firm based in Seattle.


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