Exclusive: Democrat Cindy Axne Receives Ethics Complaint After Submitting False Statement to House Clerk

WASHINGTON, D C , UNITED STATES - 2019/07/15: U.S. Representative Cindy Axne (D-IA) advoca
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A non-partisan watchdog organization filed an ethics complaint against Rep. Cindy Axne (D-IA) for giving a false official statement to the Clerk of the House, Breitbart News has learned.

The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) has requested that the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) immediately investigate Axne for claiming in an official statement to the Clerk that she needed to vote by proxy due to the “ongoing public health emergency,” while she was really on a “planned” vacation in France.

As Breitbart News previously reported and the ethics complaint outlined, Axne sent a letter to the Clerk to grant authority to her Democrat ally, Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA), to cast her vote by proxy. On August 12, Axne voted by proxy along with 187 other lawmakers who voted by proxy to pass the $700 billion “Inflation Reduction” Act, which passed by a 13-vote margin: 220 to 207.

Additionally, Fox News uncovered pictures from the congresswoman’s son’s Instagram account that showed her on vacation in France around the same time she proxy voted. The since-deleted pictures were shared on August 11, captioned “France Pt. 1″ and showing Axne with her husband and son.

This past weekend, Axne confirmed she was on a “planned” vacation with her family when she claimed to be “unable to physically attend proceedings in the House Chamber due to the ongoing public health emergency” in the official letter she sent to the Clerk, ultimately admitting to lying:


As the complaint explained, in May 2020, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) authorized members of Congress the ability to vote by proxy after the Sergeant-at-Arms notified her that a “public health emergency due to a novel coronavirus is in effect.”

However, proxy voting is only permissible due to the “public health emergency” and is not authorized for any other purpose. The complaint emphasized, “If that is not the reason for the proxy vote, then the Member is making a false statement to the House Clerk.”

House ethics rules require members to “conduct themselves at all times in a manner that reflects creditably on the House,” meaning these rules apply to any conduct taken in a lawmaker’s official capacity. The ethics complaint explained:

The House ethics rules require Members to “conduct themselves at all times in a manner that reflects creditably on the House.” This is a broad and “comprehensive provision” that is applied to any conduct taken in a Member’s official capacity. For example, Members have been investigated and disciplined under this rule related to “making statements that impugned the reputation of the House” and “making false statements to the [Ethics] Committee.” Thus, Members cannot make false statements to the House Clerk because it does not reflect creditably on the House.

Members are further required to adhere both to the spirit and the letter of the House ethics rules, and thus they must read all the rules and ethical requirements broadly. This includes the House rules adopted “to ensure Congress can continue legislation during COVID-19,” under which Members are permitted to vote by proxy when needed because “a public heath emergency due to a novel coronavirus is in effect.”

Willful Abuse of the Proxy Vote Rules & False Statements to the House Clerk. Rep. Axne made an official statement to the House Clerk that she was “unable to physically attend” House proceedings due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, she later explained the real reason was not related to the pandemic at all, but was because she had planned to go on vacation in France. If a Member is not present to vote due to a vacation, whether it was planned or not, the only options are for the Member to change vacation plans or not vote—it is not an option to submit a false statement to the House Clerk.

FACT’s Executive Director, Kendra Arnold, slammed the congresswoman in a statement to Breitbart News, saying, “This is a clear case where Rep. Axne blatantly made a false statement to the House Clerk, and by extension to the American people.”

“There is no ambiguity here—she admitted it on television after she was caught,” Arnold added. “Obviously, this willful abuse of the proxy system is very troubling and yet another example of politicians not even being able to follow the simple rules they themselves put forth.”

2022.09.27 OCE Axne by Breitbart News on Scribd

Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at jbliss@breitbart.com or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.


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