In case you’re wondering why Congressmen get away with everything, we may have the answer.
Congress is a den of thieves.
As Foreign Policy explains,
A top congressional ethics official who oversees investigations into misconduct by lawmakers is accused in a federal lawsuit of verbally abusing and physically assaulting women and using his federal position to influence local law enforcement, according to a complaint filed in a federal court in Pennsylvania last month.
The ongoing lawsuit against Omar Ashmawy, staff director and chief counsel of the Office of Congressional Ethics, stems from his involvement in a late-night brawl in 2015 in Milford, Pennsylvania, and includes a range of allegations relating to his behavior that evening and in the following two-and-half years.
Need a recap?
The person responsible for oversight of lawmakers is a bully. And worse yet, he abuses women.
And why not abuse women, as Ashmawy is a practicing Muslim.
He was born in Jersey City but grew up in in Westfield, New Jersey. Ashmawy’s father was an immigrant from Egypt. His mother was an immigrant from Italy. Although his mother was Catholic, Ashmawy chose his father’s religion, Islam.
The article continues,
Ashmawy’s office conducts the preliminary investigations into allegations of misconduct in the House of Representatives, deciding which cases to pursue or refer to the Committee on Ethics. He is named in congressional documents as the official who presented one of the investigations into John Conyers, the Democratic lawmaker from Michigan accused of sexual harassment, to the ethics committee for further action.
Among other allegations, Ashmawy is accused in the lawsuit of “threatening to use his position as staff director and chief counsel of the Office of Congressional Ethics to induce a criminal proceeding to be brought against Plaintiff and/or others,” according to the federal lawsuit filed against him.
In court filings and in statements to Foreign Policy, Ashmawy denied the allegations laid out in the lawsuit.
“To be clear, I did not harass anyone that evening, physically or verbally,” he wrote in a statement to FP. “To the contrary, I was the victim of a wholly unprovoked assault for which those responsible were investigated, arrested and charged. Any allegation to the contrary is unequivocally false.”
The lawsuit, previously unreported, stems from Feb. 14, 2015 — Valentine’s Day. The evening appeared to start off well for Ashmawy: a nearly $400 dinner with his girlfriend at an upscale restaurant in Milford, followed by late-night drinks at a local bar.
It ended, however, with him bruised and bloody in the back of a police car.
In what appears to be retribution, two months later, three men were arrested for assaulting Ashmawy. One of those men, Greg Martucci, is now suing Ashmawy in federal court in Pennsylvania in connection to the events of that night.
Essentially we have a government bureaucrat in charge of oversight for Congressional ethics who starts bar fights, then carries vendettas for those who intervene.
The dissection of the incident.
What exactly led to the physical altercation is in dispute. But in police statements, three women at the bar that night, including the bartender, accuse Ashmawy of harassing and physically assaulting them.
I couldn’t find much about Ashmawy’s politics, but here’s an interesting article.
John A. Boehner, who is now House speaker, and other Republican leaders had vigorously opposed the creation of the office, which was the brainchild of Mr. Boehner’s predecessor, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in 2008. Anticipating its demise, Leo Wise, the office staff director and chief counsel, announced in October that he was leaving for a job with the United States attorney’s office for the District of Maryland.
But since assuming control, House Republicans have left the office largely intact, much to the surprise of lawmakers in both parties. Omar Ashmawy, the new staff director and chief counsel, said the office would continue to pursue complaints as aggressively as it did under Mr. Wise.
In Ashmawy’s defense, he is a veteran–an Air Force officer. Further he prosecuted two of the early post-9/11 military tribunal cases.
But that doesn’t mean he can be a jerk, and try to harm others who took his abuse.
He was also featured earlier this year in Politico’s “birthday of the day,” where he describes his job as helping the “House of Representatives uphold ethical standards by investigating allegations of misconduct by members, staff or officers of the House.” I suggest Ashmawy practice what he preaches.