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Ethics Watchdog Calls for Investigation into Sen. Raphael Warnock for Violating Federal Law

Evidence Shows Sen. Warnock Violated

Either the Earned Income Limit or Disclosure Law

Washington, D.C.— September 5, 2023— The non-partisan ethics watchdog, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), filed a complaint requesting the Senate Select Committee on Ethics investigate Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia for violating the "earned income limit" or disclosure law.

According to a recently filed financial disclosure report filed by Sen. Warnock, he received $154,895 from Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2022, of which $125,000 was described as “deferred compensation for services before January 20, 2021.” This was the first time the alleged deferred compensation ($125,000) had been reported by Sen. Warnock on a financial disclosure form. which he claims was earned before he was sworn in as a U.S. Senator. Ebenezer Baptist Church also reportedly failed to report the liability of $125,000 on any prior financial statements.

Federal law and Senate ethics rules are clear on financial disclosures that candidates and Senators must disclose their financial information to the public including “deferred compensation” plans as well as the “parties, dates, and terms of the agreement.” That apparently did not happen here until well after the supposed agreement, which had not previously been disclosed.

Senators are also prohibited by Senate ethics rules and federal law from earning more than $29,895 per year from sources outside the Senate. Sen. Warnock’s failure to disclose this compensation on prior disclosures suggests this may be a violation of outside income limits.

These facts set up a situation where it appears that, dependent on the ultimately reality, one of two laws have been breached.

"Sen. Warnock’s apparent violation of federal law and Senate ethics rules is disturbing and extremely troubling. As he reported, either Sen. Warnock and his church had a deferred compensation agreement that both have conspicuously failed to report the existence of for years, or he received outside income of over four times the legal limit. In either case, this would be a major breach of Senate ethics laws that must immediately be investigated by the Senate Select Committee on Ethics. The applicable laws and rules are clear and the people he serves deserve to know what occurred here,” said Kendra Arnold, Executive Director of FACT.

A full copy of the complaint can be found by clicking here.

FACT is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas.  For more on FACT, visit: http://www.factdc.org/

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