After further review, Congresspedia has determined that Rep. Katherine Harris (R-Fla.) meets our criteria for the Members of Congress under investigation page. Harris, who is currently running for the U.S. Senate seat occupied by Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), brings the total to sixteen current and three former members currently the subject of a federal, state, or local probe.
Specifically, Harris is the subject of a joint investigation by both the Justice and Defense Departments for her ties to Mitchell Wade, a convicted defense contractor and former head of MZM Inc. In 2004, Wade made $32,000 worth of illegal contributions to Harris' House campaign (although he apparently left out the “illegal” part when presenting her with the money). In addition, Wade paid for at least two dinners with Harris at a trendy Georgetown restaurant in 2004-2005 whose combined cost approached a whopping $6,000, a clear violation of House rules. During the second dinner, prosecutors say Wade requested that Harris help secure $10 million in federal funds for a project benefiting his firm in Sarasota, Fla. Harris allegedly submitted a request for the earmark to the House Appropriations Committee, but it was not granted.
While federal officials have yet to interview Harris, they have spoken with numerous ex-staffers of the congresswoman, as well as subpoenaed records from her ongoing Senate campaign. Harris has repeatedly denied that she broke any laws or is currently the subject of a federal probe. In regards to the latter, we respectfully disagree.