The Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) found by a six to zero vote that rep Marie Newman (D) Ill bribed an opponent with a job in exchange for dropping out of the race against her. It had to be pretty darn obvious in order to get all three Democrats to vote against her. Her defense is rather silly. She claims that since she had not yet been elected, she could not promise Iymen Chehade a job within her congressional office.

In addition, after she won her seat and refused to hire Chehade because she also claimed that an agreement made before she attained office was not binding. Chehade then sued Newman in 2021 over her deceit, otherwise, the agreement would never have become known. Newman could be facing sanctions right up to expulsion from the House for violating rules regulating the hiring of congressional staffers and contractors.

According to the OCE final report:

“Newman likely was motivated to enter the agreement to avoid competing against Mr. Chehade in the next Democratic primary.”

Chehade had suggested that Newman be term-limited and after that, she should endorse him for that seat. Newman claimed she was “outraged and incensed” by the request, she wrote to Chehade and said that most of his proposals looked good.

House Legal Counsel Douglas Letter, who represented her in the case argued that she could not be held to the provisions agreed to between her and Chehade.

Letter said:

“Although the agreement was signed by Congresswoman Newman in her personal capacity (because she had no official capacity in which to act before her election), it purports to bind her in her official capacity to hire Mr. Chehade in her Congressional office.”

From the Daily Caller

“The factual and legal allegations were fatally defective,” Newman’s attorneys wrote, “spurred by the charges of an adverse third party, and prodded by an ideologically hostile group.”

Chehade is currently running in the new Third District, while Newman is facing down Rep. Sean Casten in a member versus member primary.

The communications vice chair for the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Newman is often associated with the far left “Squad,” due to her endorsement from New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She was one of eight Democrats to vote against funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, and is a supporter of the Green New Deal.

Mark Sidney

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