Yesterday, the U.S. House Committee on Ethics released a report on allegations of misconduct against Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado compiled by the similarly-named but operationally distinct Office of Congress Ethics that affirms a number of the charges against Lamborn regarding misuse of office staff and resources, including allegations that Lamborn allowed his son to sleep in a storage space at the U.S. Capitol. The investigation into Lamborn doesn’t end with this report’s publication, but the findings will serve as the basis for what looks to be a continued serious optics problem in an election year.
Rep. Lamborn’s Republican primary opponent, far-charging “America First” state Rep. Dave Williams, is overjoyed by the gift dropped into his lap, and ramping up the rhetorical assault on Lamborn in the report’s wake:
Today, conservative Republican and State Representative from Colorado Springs, Dave Williams, called on discredited politician, Doug Lamborn, to resign immediately from office.
Today, January 24, 2022, the U.S. House Committee on Ethics announced it, again, is furthering its investigation into Doug Lamborn after an initial investigative extension was granted in early December of last year.
Additionally, and more troubling, is that the bipartisan Board of the Office of Congressional Ethics voted unanimously to accept the findings of their investigators who determined “there is substantial reason to believe” that Lamborn “misused official resources” and “solicited or accepted improper gifts from subordinates.”
Williams takes a deep dramatic breath and puffs out his chest before continuing. Not really, but you can imagine it:
“For the good of our community, Doug Lamborn should resign immediately. The findings of these congressional investigators are troubling to say the least and demonstrate a culture of corruption that should not be tolerated. Our new district deserves a new Congressman with a proven conservative record of always fighting for regular workers and families while maintaining the highest ethical standards,” stated Williams.
“The voters never elected Lamborn to enrich himself off the backs of the taxpayers. If he refuses to step down for the good of our community, then I look forward to working with voters to retire this corrupt establishment politician come June,” continued Williams.
“With Doug Lamborn now desperately attempting to coverup his ethics violations and going out of his way to partner with the Biden regime to attack President Trump, it’s clear the Pikes Peak region deserves better, so I’ll be working overtime with the citizens of our community to make certain the 5th Congressional District has authentic Christian leadership that serves the people,” concluded Williams.
Here’s the immediate problem for Lamborn: House Ethics Committee investigations are notoriously lengthy affairs, and their process isn’t beholden to the election cycle. Now that this bipartisan investigative body of the OCE has found the ethics charges against Lamborn to be credible, the committee takes over from there for a period that could well extend beyond the June primary or even the November general elections. Until this question is resolved, it hangs like a cloud over Lamborn, and he can’t blame Democrats (or anyone else) for his predicament.
As a result, Lamborn’s ability to persist in his powerful office through the years despite a profound lack of accomplishment and vigorous primary challenges faces what could be its greatest test in 2022. As for Rep. Williams? We’d say such luck couldn’t happen to a nicer guy, but “nice” is not an adjective we can ever apply to Williams even in jest. If Lamborn has set himself up for a career-ending scandal, we know a lot of Republicans going back to Lamborn’s predecessor Joel Hefley who would implore CD-5 voters to do better.
Because if Dave Williams makes it to Congress, he will immediately be in contention with Lauren Boebert for the title of Colorado’s greatest political embarrassment. And he will…compete hard.