Authors: Joshua Cohan
(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. Spencer Bachus, the chairman of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, has been cleared in an investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), which conducts preliminary investigations into any ethics issues in the House.
A report last November by CBS’ 60 Minutes alleged that the Alabama congressman violated insider trading rules in the wake of the financial crisis the day after a private briefing with Ben Bernanke and Hank Paulson, when he made a number of trades to minimize the damage to his holdings. Bachus has long maintained his innocence and told reporters that someone would have to have been living under a rock to not know how serious the financial crisis was at the time of his trades.
According to a statement released by Bachus, a Republican, the OCE board voted unanimously 6-0 to drop the investigation. It would have taken four votes to refer the OCE report to the Ethics Committee.
Here is Bachus' full statement:
The OCE's unanimous dismissal of these false allegations is a welcome conclusion to a destructive and disruptive, media generated assault. It has been a long, painful, and frustrating experience to have a reputation built over many years sullied by untrue accusations. I also appreciate former SEC Chairmen Harvey Pitt and Roderick Hills and Federal Judge Stanley Sporkin for reviewing the allegations, determining they were false and meritless, and publicly coming to my defense. Perhaps the most gratifying aspect is that my constituents who know me best recently reaffirmed their faith in my character and my ability to serve their interests, and my personal commitment to them is to continue to serve with the highest level of effectiveness and accountability. Finally, I want to thank the OCE staff for their professionalism and the OCE Board for unanimously coming to the right conclusion. While their review and report should never have been necessary, I am pleased that they have helped clear my name.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio