USA Today Quotes Stanley Brand on Senate Ethics Committee’s Ninth Consecutive Year Without Levying Punishment

Akin Gump litigation senior counsel Stanley Brand was quoted by USA Today for its article “Senate ethics panel has issued no punishments in 9 years” on the occasion of the Senate Ethics Committee’s release of its annual report. According to the article, the committee has not disciplined a senator since 2007 despite having received 613 allegations of wrongdoing.

Although ethics watchdog groups point to this as evidence that the committee is ignoring violations, Brand—who served as the House of Representatives’ chief legal officer and has represented numerous high-profile clients in political and public corruption cases—said that the lack of public punishments may reflect the fact that the committee has not found any violations that would warrant sanction.

He added, “You don't start out saying we have a quota of members of the Senate that we are going to prosecute. There has to be a probable cause for every investigation. [Ethics watchdog groups] want every peccadillo to be investigated like a federal crime and I don't think that's the way it should work.”