Illinois Democrat accused of bribing fellow Dem to keep him out of the primary

Democratic Illinois Rep. Marie Newman is being investigated for offering her opponent a job if he decided not to run for office, according to The Daily Caller

The Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) found Monday that Newman could have violated their standards early on in her campaign, which eventually defeated fellow Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski.

However, Lipinski might not have been her only competitor, had she not offered Iymen Chehade a job within her congressional office in exchange for his promise not to enter the race. 

Chehade filed a suit against Newman in May of 2021 alleging that Newman violated the rules of congressional hiring, which would have made her promise null and void. 

According to The Daily Caller, Chehade was a Columbia College professor and hired by Newman to consult on Israel-Palestine conflict issues, however, the now-representative for the state of Illinois was “likely motivated to enter the agreement to avoid competing against Mr. Chehade in the next Democratic primary,” according to the OCE final report.

Newman has argued against the accusations through House Legal Counsel Douglas Letter, saying that she could not be held to the provisions of the agreement between her and Chehade:

“Although the agreement was signed by Congresswoman Newman in her personal capacity (because she had no official capacity in which to act before her election), it purports to bind her in her official capacity to hire Mr. Chehade in her Congressional office,” Letter said at the time.

Newman also argued that she was not guilty of wrongdoing in the case, saying, “The factual and legal allegations were fatally defective,” Newman’s attorneys wrote, “spurred by the charges of an adverse third party, and prodded by an ideologically hostile group.”

Chehade is running in the new Third District for the House of Representatives and Newman is fighting for her seat against Rep. Sean Casten in a member versus member race for her district. 

defeated fellow Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski.

However, Lipinski might not have been her only competitor, had she not offered Iymen Chehade a job within her congressional office in exchange for his promise not to enter the race. 

Chehade filed a suit against Newman in May of 2021 alleging that Newman violated the rules of congressional hiring, which would have made her promise null and void. 

According to The Daily Caller, Chehade was a Columbia College professor and hired by Newman to consult on Israel-Palestine conflict issues, however the now-representitave for the state of Illinois was “likely motivated to enter the agreement to avoid competing against Mr. Chehade in the next Democratic primary,” according to the OCE final report.

Newman has argued against the accusations through House Legal Counsel Douglas Letter, saying that she could not be held to the provisions of the agreement between her and Chehade:

“Although the agreement was signed by Congresswoman Newman in her personal capacity (because she had no official capacity in which to act before her election), it purports to bind her in her official capacity to hire Mr. Chehade in her Congressional office,” Letter said at the time.

Newman also argued that she was not guilty of wrongdoing in the case, saying, “The factual and legal allegations were fatally defective,” Newman’s attorneys wrote, “spurred by the charges of an adverse third party, and prodded by an ideologically hostile group.”

Chehade is running in the new Third District for the House of Representatives and Newman is fighting for her seat against Rep. Sean Casten in a member versus member race fo her district.

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