WASHINGTON — Congressman Alan B. Mollohan announced that the Department of Justice has informed his lawyer that an investigation concerning Mollohan’s personal finances and his support for nonprofits in West Virginia has been concluded and that no charges are being considered.
In response, Mollohan said, “For nearly four years, in the face of a politically-motivated assault on my character, I have continued to fight for jobs and the working families of West Virginia. With this behind me, I am more determined than ever to stand up for the people of the First Congressional District and fight for what matters – good jobs, a strong economy and a government that works for the people, not the special interests.”
Reports of a Justice Department investigation began almost four years ago after the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), a Washington-based organization with extensively-documented right-wing ties, filed a complaint with the Justice Department against Mollohan. That complaint was initiated while Mollohan was playing a pivotal role in preventing the Republican leadership from weakening ethics rules and enforcement in the House of Representatives. Mollohan served as the ranking Democrat on the Ethics Committee at the time.
The filing of the report also coincided with the emergence of a Congressional challenger to Mollohan – Chris Wakim – who was reportedly recruited for the race by White House political operative Karl Rove. Also, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert visited the First Congressional District in March of 2006 – less than two weeks after the filing of the NLPC report – to campaign for Mollohan’s opponent. In that appearance, Speaker Hastert said that, “we’re going to play offense,” against Mollohan. When Hastert’s appearance was announced several weeks earlier, Hastert’s spokesman specifically noted Mollohan’s work on the ethics committee as something the Republican leadership opposed.
Although the NLPC repeatedly touted their 500-page complaint alleging that Mollohan had misrepresented his net worth by making “over 250 misrepresentations and omissions” on nine years’ worth of financial disclosure forms, the NLPC refused to release the report. Without ever knowing what the specific allegations were, Mollohan immediately undertook a comprehensive review of his financial disclosure forms, identified fewer than 20 unintentional and immaterial mistakes, corrected them in amended filings, and immediately made the results public. The NLPC has never challenged the accuracy of Mollohan’s response.
In the process of targeting Mollohan, the NLPC also called into question the work of a number of nonprofits for which the Congressman has secured federal funding throughout the years. As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Mollohan was able to direct federal funding to a variety of nonprofits working to diversify West Virginia’s economy. These nonprofits created new jobs in high tech industries, tourism, community development, and ecological management throughout West Virginia’s First Congressional District.
“These nonprofits are all about building West Virginia’s economy and making our state a better place to live,” Mollohan said. “I am very happy that they will be able to put this behind them and refocus on their core missions to create good jobs and improve the lives of West Virginians.”