Republican Rep. Andy Ogles faces serious ethics complaint

An ethics complaint filed by the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan watchdog group, is calling for a federal investigation into Republican Rep. Andy Ogles of Tennessee. The complaint asks that Ogles be investigated for the more than “$1 million of financial disclosure discrepancies [that] provide reasonable basis for OCE to investigate whether Rep. Ogles complied with the Ethics in Government Act (‘EIGA’) and House rules.” The Campaign Legal Center was founded by Trevor Potter, a former GOP commissioner on the Federal Elections Commission. Potter is still the watchdog’s president.

The complaint also requests an investigation into Ogles’ finances in light of the fact that “Rep. Ogles’ financial disclosure statements do not include the assets that he purportedly used to personally loan $320,000 to his campaign committee in April 2022.” The complaint goes on to explain that Ogles provides no sources for where he got that money. This mysterious loan first raised flags in November after it was reported that Ogles has not disclosed any “substantial investments,” nor has he reported even having a savings account.

Adding to the mystery was Ogles' omission of a $700,000 line of credit he reportedly opened in September 2022 with FirstBank. Ogles’ campaign responded to initial financial questions back in 2022 by claiming there were “issues retrieving bank records.” I guess these records are still hard to find.

Last year, Nashville’s NewsChannel 5 did a series of investigative reports on Ogles that raised all kinds of serious ethics questions. The complaint cites the results of these investigations as proof of a pattern of lying on the part of the congressman. The questions being raised about Ogles’ financial dealings are beginning to resemble those that eventually led to the recent expulsion of George Santos.

Some of the questions brought up during the investigation include:

  • Why did the Tennessee congressman lie repeatedly about his educational background, claiming he was an “economist” and allegedly lying about doing graduate work at prestigious business schools at universities like Vanderbilt and Dartmouth?
  • What happened with the missing $23,575 he raised for a children’s burial garden back in 2014?
  • What about the time he described himself as “a former member of law enforcement” who had done work "in international sex crimes, specifically child trafficking,” even though there is zero evidence in his résumé of any of those things?

Donald Trump’s swamp talk seems to have only drawn more and more swampy creatures into the Republican orbit. The CLC summarizes it best with the sentiment that “the similarities between Rep. Ogles and Rep. Santos should not be ignored.”

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