Pro-Israel lawmaker Shelley Berkley facing ethics review

Investigation could complicate the Nevada Democrat’s bid for the US Senate

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The House Ethics Committee has launched an investigation into US Rep. Shelley Berkley, a pro-Israel lawmaker, potentially complicating the Nevada Democrat’s bid for the US Senate.

The investigation announced Monday, and backed by Democrats and Republicans on the committee, will focus on allegations that Berkley’s championing of kidney care benefited her husband, a leading kidney specialist in Nevada.

“The Committee notes that the mere fact of establishing an investigative subcommittee does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred,” said a statement from the Ethics Committee of the House of Representatives.

Berkley’s office said she was “pleased with the committee’s decision to conduct a full and fair investigation, which will ensure all the facts are reviewed.”

Her successful efforts to block a federal bid to close a kidney transplant center saved part of a practice co-owned by her husband.

Berkley, widely considered as among the most pro-Israel members of the House, was seen as one of a handful of chances for the Democrats to pick up a Senate seat in a year when they are defending most of their seats. She faces incumbent Sen. Dean Heller, who was named to the seat after fellow Republican John Ensign resigned in a scandal.

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