Casten Calls on Newman to Release Details of Settlement at the Heart of Ethics Investigation
Downers Grove, IL — Today, U.S. Congressman Sean Casten (IL-06) called on Marie Newman and Iymen Chehade to publicly release the details of the settlement at the heart of the US House of Representatives investigation into Rep. Marie Newman for promising federal employment to Mr. Chehade in exchange for his political support.
“I first ran for Congress in 2018, in part in response to the ethical lapses of Donald Trump,” said Rep. Casten. “Public service is a trust, and our entire democracy is jeopardized when voters have reason to believe that any elected officials are placing our personal self-interest above the public good. Ethics matters.”
“Until now, I have declined to comment on the investigation into Marie Newman to give her the opportunity to clear the record herself. It has been over five months since the nonpartisan Office of Congressional Ethics unanimously voted to further the investigation into Marie Newman. Five months of silence is unacceptable. It is time for her to level with the public.
“Here are the facts:
The nonpartisan Office of Congressional Ethics found “substantial reason to believe” Marie Newman bribed a political opponent. (Page 1)
Congresswoman Newman signed a contract with Iymen Chehade, promising him a taxpayer-funded job paying at least $135,000 (Page 11).
In email exchanges shortly before the contract was signed, OCE’s investigation revealed that Mr. Chehade proposed he would not ‘announce or submit his candidacy’ for the 3rd Congressional District in exchange for the position Congresswoman Newman later promised him (Page 10).
Iymen Chehade is now on Marie Newman’s campaign payroll and was paid over $54,000 between July 1 and December 15th last year. (Source)
“On multiple occasions, Congresswoman Newman has dismissed these credible charges against her as partisan – taking zero accountability even as a left-leaning ethics organization has repeatedly expressed alarm at her actions.
“In eight days, the next quarterly FEC report is due. Congresswoman Newman still faces questions voters deserve to know the answer to. How much of the money entrusted to her by her campaign donors has she promised to pay Iymen Chehade? Has she made any promises to pay him with taxpayer-provided funds? Does the settlement provide Mr. Chehade with any input on her policy positions or impact on her votes, as suggested may be the case based on her email exchanges with Mr. Chehade? What did Mr. Chehade commit to provide Congresswoman Newman in exchange for the cash payments?
“Rep. Newman can answer these questions, and owes it to the voters to do so. They have given us their trust. They deserve the truth. That starts with releasing the details of her settlement with Iymen Chehade and releasing Chehade from his non-disclosure agreement so he may fully cooperate with the investigation.”