Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) has doubled down on his claim that ethical concerns about his wife’s businesses are “baseless.”
As IJR previously reported, Cummings has faced ethical questions since his wife, Maya Rockeymoore, was hit with an IRS complaint after the National Legal and Policy Center — a conservative watchdog group — alleged that her non-profit and her for-profit consulting firm had overlapping operations.
Rockeymoore’s consulting firm was offered a million dollar federal contract to oversee a project which she housed under her non-profit — a “self-dealing” that may be illegal under IRS regulations.
Cummings chairs the House Oversight Committee which is responsible for overseeing a wide range of issue before Congress, including many business negotiations and mergers.
The Washington Examiner — who first broke the story on the IRS complaint against Rockeymoore — noted that Cummings’ role on the committee may have helped Rockeymoore’s operations because several companies with business before the committee donated to her non-profit or gave contracts to her consulting firm which could be conflicts of interest.
The Examiner notes that Johnson & Johnson, a pharmaceutical company, gave millions via its charity to Rockeymoore’s operations in years prior, but after stopping in 2017, the Oversight Committee began a probe into their operations.
Because of this note on Johnson & Johnson, Cummings doubled down on his accusation that the investigation is a “political hit” because of his efforts to lower pharmaceutical prices in the U.S.
Cummings told Fox News:
“These baseless claims come from a group funded by right-wing mega-donors known for their political hit jobs. I am confident that they will be exposed for what they really are – a fabricated distraction from the important work being done on behalf of Americans, such as lowering the skyrocketing prices of prescription drugs.”
As IJR previously reported, Cummings and Rockeymoore had both previously denied any wrongdoing. Despite their denials, Rockeymoore has still refused to turn over financial documentation for her nonprofit that could prove their case.