Joe Wilson focus of ethics investigation (Update: Investigation focus is broad)

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Update September 4: McClatchy is reporting that Joe Wilson is now saying the investigation covers a number of other items and is wide-ranging, the news outlet also notes that Wilson is  29 among the 435 members of the House for travel expenditures.

Read the updated report here.

First reporting September 1: Several media outlets, including McClatchy, The Post and Courier, and the Wall Street Journal are reporting our U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., is among a group of federal legislators under investigation by the House ethics committee for potential misuse of travel stipends while on a congressional trip to Afghanistan.

For Wilson's part, his staff is saying the Charleston Republican, whose district does include Beaufort and Jasper counties, is being investigated for spending a whopping $12 on six shot-glass sized goblets he purchased in Afghanistan in 2009. 

“Wilson purchased six small tokens of his appreciation — under $2 each — for Afghanistan (war) veterans and their families,” Wilson spokesman Pepper Pennington told McClatchy's James Rosen. Read the full writeup here.

The really interesting line in the Rosen writeup is this: "Wilson’s aides declined to say Tuesday whether the House ethics probe of him was limited to his August 2009 trip, and to his $12 total purchase of six goblets."

You also can check out the Wall Street Journal writeup, which is a bit more general in nature about the situation, here.

Wilson quickly has responded with a blog on his campaign site claiming that the ethics investigation is a liberal attack. The blog states that the goblets purchased are "nothing more than a glorified shot glass."  

"The photo above shows that any inquiry into an item half the size of a 12-ounce Coke can is another example of how Nancy Pelosi and her liberal allies have their priorities all wrong in Washington," the blog goes on to state.

Gotta say we question the rationale behind behind defending the purchase for its size and destination, as there are more than a few diamonds that could fit in that Coke can. If it's silly to question $12 in per diem expenses, Wilson's campaign should just say that.

But it looks like if the marble goblets are all that are in question, Wilson may just be caught up in a bigger net cast to close loose cash flows were legislators visiting more affluent countries get $250 a day in untraceable cash. 

WIlson's opponent in November, Democrat Rob Miller, is using the story as a chance to say this is why his support of an idea for a searchable database of all per diem expenses is a good thing.

Anyhow, this story surely will continue to develop as the congressman, who gained national notoriety for his 'you lie' outburst, continues his campaign against Miller.

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