Rep. Tim Ryan appears to have violated Federal Law and House Ethics Rules by abusing Official Resources
Washington, D.C.— August 22, 2022— On Thursday, August 18, 2022, the non-partisan ethics watchdog, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), filed a second complaint requesting the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) investigate Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio, this time to determine whether he abused official resources for political purposes.
Rep. Ryan, who is running for U.S. Senate, has repeatedly used official House or Senate floor video for political purposes, in what seems to be a direct violation of federal law and House ethics rules. Rep. Ryan's Twitter account (@TimRyan) (1) has a cover photo identifying his candidacy for U.S Senate, (2) asks supporters to sign up with his campaign by text, and (3) directly links to Rep. Ryan's campaign website. On July 28, 2022, Rep. Ryan tweeted a video of official Senate floor footage, stating the bill involved in the footage "died in the Senate" and the "Senate is broken" using his Twitter account.
Rep. Ryan's campaign communications director has also used her Twitter account to repeatedly post links of official pictures or videos of Rep. Ryan on the House floor.
Federal law and ethics rules prohibit Members from using any official resources for political purposes. "Official resources" includes anything funded by taxpayers, such as photographs and video from the House or Senate floor. To make it abundantly clear, both the House Ethics rules, and Senate ethics rules specifically identify Congressional photographs and video of floor proceedings as official resources that Members are prohibited from using for political purposes. Simply put, under the House ethics rules, a Member is prohibited from using either House or Senate photographs or video because both are official government resources. This includes any photograph or video floor footage even if it was reposted from a third-party source, i.e., another website or news organization. A Member is also not allowed to use the campaign or its staff to violate the ethics rules. Finally, it is irrelevant whether the social media accounts are official campaign accounts, but rather it is only relevant that the accounts are being used for campaign purposes.
"The law is clear: a Member of Congress cannot use any House or Senate floor footage for campaign purposes. Furthermore, under the ethics rules each Member is responsible for their campaign and their staff. These instances speak for themselves and there is no valid excuse for violating these rules," said Kendra Arnold, Executive Director of FACT.
A full copy of the complaint can be found here.
FACT is a nonprofit organization promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas. For more on FACT, visit: http://www.factdc.org/