Congresswoman Val Demings, D-10th, is campaigning for the Florida Senate seat currently held by Republican Senator Marco Rubio.
The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) claims Congresswoman Demings violated House ethics rules regarding remote participation. House of Representative rules allow representatives to attend proceedings remotely to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Demings availed herself of the ability to remotely attend an April 5 Judiciary Committee meeting.
While remotely participating in the House Judiciary Committee hearing, she simultaneously participated in a remote campaign-related meeting with the Duval County Democratic Black Caucus. That multitasking was captured in videos of both events and drew the nonprofit’s attention.
FACT noted “House ethics rules require strict separation between campaign and official acts” in a letter demanding the House’s Office of Congressional Ethics conduct an immediate investigation of Demings.
“During remarks at the political event, Demings told her audience she was listening to a Judiciary Committee hearing and she was going to cast a vote while she was speaking,” FACT Executive Director Kendra Arnold wrote, before quoting Demings: “Of course I’ve been looking so forward to being with the Duval Caucus, and here I am stuck in a markup in Judiciary so I apologize for the background noise, but of course I am also listening to the hearing there, so I know when it is time for me to vote.”
The good-government group informed the ethics office that Demings stops talking to Florida Democrats after a few minutes, in order to cast her vote on the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act. Demings may also be heard speaking to the political event during the committee’s recorded vote until Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., informs Demings she is unmuted.
“Not only was this incident an embarrassing moment for her, and for the House, but a serious rules violation appears to be present as well,” Arnold declared.
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