Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012...2:22 pm

FBI investigated congressmen’s swim in Galilee

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The FBI investigated an Aug. 18, 2011, incident in which a group of Republican congressmen jumped into the Sea of Galilee for a late-night swim and during which a freshman lawmaker swam naked, according to Politico, which reported the story on Sunday.

According to the report, the late-night swim, following an evening of dinner and drinking, involved 20 people, including several Republican freshmen lawmakers, their families and staff members.

Most swam in their clothes, or partially clothed, but Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., completely disrobed, according to the report.

“I feel incredibly remorseful that I have caused embarrassment to my constituents and I have caused folks who believe in me to be disappointed,” Yoder told the Kansas City Star Sunday night. “The gravity of the situation and the actions I’ve taken are not lost on me, and I feel certainly regret at what has occurred, and I just want to apologize to my constituents for a momentary lapse in judgment.”

Rep. Kevin Yoder

The other congressmen who took a dip, according to unnamed GOP sources in the Politico article, were Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., and his daughter; Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., and his wife; and Reps. Ben Quayle, R-Ariz., Jeff Denham, R-Calif., and Michael Grimm, R-N.Y.

Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., the most senior GOP lawmaker on the Israel trip, censured the 30 lawmakers the morning after the incident, saying they were distracting from the mission of the trip.

The trip was sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation, which provides grants for educational programs and conferences, and to “help educate political leaders and influentials about the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship through first-hand experiences in Israel.”

The foundation is connected with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

The FBI investigated whether any inappropriate behavior occurred, but no formal allegations of wrongdoing were leveled.


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