CINCINNATI, Ohio—In a statement released on August 5, the House Ethics Committee ruled that Rep. Jean Schmidt has received multiple improper gifts totaling $500,000 from the Turkish Coalition of America (TCA) between 2008 and 2010. The Committee ruled that Schmidt must pay the money back. However, she will not face sanctions by the House as she was able to pin the blame for her behavior on her attorneys Bruce Fein and David Saltzman.
The Ethics Committee ruling does not clear Schmidt of impropriety—she must amend her 2009 & 2010 financial disclosures and pay back the money to the Turkish Coalition of America. Schmidt can no longer accept impermissible gifts to fund her defamation case against local Cincinnati businessman David Krikorian. “The Ethics Committee proved that we were right all along: Rep Schmidt has received a half a million dollars in improper gifts from the TCA,” said Krikorian.
In turn, Schmidt said in a statement: “As I’ve stated publicly before, I neither sought nor intended to accept free legal services… I have been waiting for the Ethics Committee’s advice as to the best way to pay these bills. Now that I have that advice, I look forward to continuing to work cooperatively with the Committee to ensure that these bills are paid appropriately.”
Krikorian considered Schmidt’s efforts to plead ignorance “laughable.” “Personally I find it hard to believe that Jean Schmidt did not know the facts regarding her own attorneys in legal actions which she commenced in her own name—I find that to be laughable!” said David Krikorian. “The American people are tired of Congressmen and [Congress]women who break the rules and get away with it by blaming someone else. The people of Ohio’s second district deserve better than an ignorant Congresswoman,” he added.
To read the statement of the House Ethics Committee, click here.