US ethics group wants lobbying inquiry of Gingrich

January 6, 2012 05:35

WASHINGTON - A group that files ethics complaints against elected officials is requesting a US Justice Department investigation into whether Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich worked as an unregistered lobbyist.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which last year helped prompt the resignation of a US senator, said on Thursday that it sent a complaint against Gingrich to prosecutors and the FBI.

It was unclear what the Justice Department would do with the complaint. Gingrich's spokesman and his lawyer did not respond to separate requests for comment on the complaint.

US prosecutors have never brought a case under a 1995 law that requires someone to register with Congress as a lobbyist if he or she meets certain criteria, such as spending 20 percent of their time on lobbying activities.

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