Washingotn (CNN)Embattled New Hampshire Republican Congressman Frank Guinta is facing increasing pressure to step down after accusations he violated campaign finance rules.
New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte: If I were Rep. Frank Guinta, I'd resign
After saying she was "deeply, deeply disappointed" in Guinta during an interview with WMUR on Friday that stopped short of calling for him to resign, New Hampshire GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte spoke with the congressman and recommended that he step down.
"Congressman Guinta must make his own decision about whether to resign, but if I were in his position, that's what I would do," Ayotte said in a statement Monday.
Guinta was accused of violating individual contribution limits during his 2010 run for office by depositing $355,000 from his parents' bank account into his campaign account. The money was not properly accounted for in his campaign's financial forms, but Guinta has long insisted the money was his and that he did nothing wrong. Under a conciliation deal with the Federal Elections Commission, Guinta agreed to pay a $15,000 fine and pay back the money within 12 months, according to a report by WMUR.
The FEC would not comment on the reported agreement. The agency has 30 days to make information about closed cases available to the public.
"I understand Senator Ayotte's disappointment with this issue, I share in that frustration," Guinta said in a statement Monday. "I have been proactive in showing the documentation proving the assets in question were mine. I have apologized for the error on my part, made myself available for press inquiries and attended several events over the weekend. I will continue to meet with, listen to and serve Granite Staters of the First Congressional District."
Ayotte joins the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper in saying the congressman, up for reelection in 2016, should resign. In an unusually spare editorial published Friday, the paper showed a photograph of Guinta with "Frank Guinta is a damned liar. -- Joseph M. Quaid Publisher" underneath it. Last night, their editorial said Guinta must go, because he "has violated his trust."
"The illegal shifting of more than 1/3 of $1 million into his campaign account gave Guinta a critical edge in a tight Republican primary, which he won by only 2,819 votes. The final deposit came just four days before the primary," the editorial board wrote.
The National Republican Congressional Committee, which supports GOP congressional candidates, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.