2012 Congressional Election

California's Richardson Fights Back Against Ethics Charges

Congresswoman accused of pushing staffers to work on her campaign

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Rep. Laura Richardson is forcefully pushing back against new allegations that she retaliated against aides after the House reprimanded her early last month, and her lawyer is accusing the House Ethics Committee of engaging in "uncalled for and inappropriate" actions against her.

The committee warned the California Democrat that it is continuing its investigation into her operation and could turn the House probe over to the Justice Department if those charges and other allegations prove to be true, according to two "confidential" committee letters to Richardson obtained by POLITICO. In the letters, the committee refers to allegations it has received that Richardson has failed to draw a bright line separating official and campaign activities.