Florida Democrat Rep. Val Demings touted her Senate candidacy in a virtual event while remotely attending a congressional hearing, which may violate House ethics rules, according to a complaint from the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT).
Demings remotely attended a House Judiciary Committee meeting on April 5, while at the same time joining a call via Zoom to promote her campaign for U.S. Senate.
“Not only was this incident an embarrassing moment for [Demings], and for the House, but a serious rules violation appears to be present as well,” the complaint sent to the Office of Congressional Ethics reads.
During the committee hearing on the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act, Demings made use of the House’s rules allowing representatives to attend proceeding remotely in order to reduce the spread of COVID. Demings voted on amendments, but a campaign video shows her apologizing for having to listen in to the Judiciary Committee so she could hear when it was her turn to respond to the roll call.
“Of course I’ve been looking so forward to being with the Duval Caucus, and here I am stuck in a markup in Judiciary so I apologize for the background noise, but of course I am also listening to the hearing there, so I know when it is time for me to vote,” Demings says in a recording.
In a video, Demings can be heard voting remotely on several amendments.
“Demings’ dual attendance at the events show she chose to virtually attend the committee hearing not for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic, but to speak at a campaign event—clearly contrary to the authorized purpose for the rule set forth in House Resolution 965,” FACT alleges.