Ethics Panel Won’t Review Four Lawmakers’ Arrest at Protest

Photograph by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Actor and activist George Clooney is arrested for blocking the entrance of the Sudan Embassy on March 16, 2012, in Washington.

The House Ethics Committee, which is empowered to investigate lawbreaking by House members, is taking a pass on the arrest of four Democratic lawmakers during a protest outside the Sudan Embassy on March 16 that included actor George Clooney.

Massachusetts Democrats Jim McGovern and John Olver were arrested along with fellow Democrats Jim Moran of Virginia and Al Green of Texas on charges of crossing a police line. They were participating in a protest against attacks by the African country’s government against Sudan’s southern region and blocking of humanitarian aid deliveries to the Blue Nile region and Nuba mountains.

The four lawmakers were among 17 people, including Clooney, who were charged with the misdemeanor offense of crossing the police line. The lawmakers and Clooney paid $100 fines. The group also included Benjamin Jealous, president of the National Association of Colored People, and Martin Luther King III, according to Secret Service spokesman George Ogilvie.

In its report, the committee said it “considered the scope and nature” of the conduct of the four lawmakers and “determined that review by an investigative subcommittee is not required in this matter.”

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