The House Ethics Committee announced Monday it was extending an investigation involving Republican Rep. Rod Blum, who holds a competitive seat in Iowa ahead of the upcoming midterm elections.
The ethics panel, which doesn’t publicly disclose the allegations or reasons behind an investigation, announced it was reviewing a case referred by the nonpartisan Office of Congressional Ethics. The OCE refers cases to the House Ethics Committee only when it deems there is substantial evidence of ethics violations.
In a statement, the committee said the extension of an investigation does not directly indicate that any violation has occurred.
The Associated Press reported earlier this year that Blum failed to disclose his position as CEO of an internet company that helps companies bury any Food and Drug Administration citations below positive online search results.
The report has made Blum the subject of at least one negative ad by the Democratic group House Majority PAC, as Democrats seek to take back his swing district in northeast Iowa.
In a statement, Blum said that once he realized the disclosure error, he “immediately self-reported to the Ethics Committee and apologized.” He has previously stated that he would amend the form to list his role with the company.
Making a case that financial disclosure errors are not uncommon, Blum also noted a previous House ethics report that stated “between 30% and 50% of all Financial Disclosure Statements reviewed by the Committee each year contain errors or require a corrected statement.”
Blum in his statement called the mistake a “clerical error” and accused Democrats of “mak(ing) mountains out of molehills in order to deliver an election scandal headline.”