Microscope

Members of Defense Panel Under Inquiry

A document unintentionally leaked online by a Hill staffer online reveals that the ethics committee and the Office of Congressional Ethics are investigating seven members—including Rep. John Murtha (D-PA)—of an important House subcommittee in control of Pentagon spending. In question: their relationship with PMA, a controversial lobbying firm—founded by Paul Magliocchetti, a former Capitol Hill aide—that has been under criminal investigation by the Justice Department since at least last year. According to the document, investigators are looking for House members who may have been “accepting contributions or other items of value from PMA’s PAC in exchange for an official act.” Collectively, the seven legislators under investigation have directed more than $200 million in earmarks to PMA clients in the last two years and received more than $6.2 million in campaign contributions from the lobbying group in the last ten years, according to The Washington Post. An unnamed Hill source told the Post that the committee has not come to any conclusions.