Congressional Ethics Chief Accused of Verbal Abuse, Assault

The staff director of the Office of Congressional Ethics—which is charged with overseeing investigations into lawmakers—has been accused himself of verbal abuse and assault, according to a federal lawsuit revealed by Foreign Policy. Omar Ashmawy is accused of “threatening to use his position as staff director and chief counsel of the Office of Congressional Ethics to induce a criminal proceeding to be brought against Plaintiff and/or others” during a late-night brawl in Pennsylvania in 2015. Ashmawy denied any wrongdoing, telling Foreign Policy: “To be clear, I did not harass anyone that evening, physically or verbally. To the contrary, I was the victim of a wholly unprovoked assault for which those responsible were investigated, arrested and charged. Any allegation to the contrary is unequivocally false.”