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Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas and Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas

WASHINGTON – Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, has announced his office has taken the initial steps to call for a Senate Ethics Committee investigation of Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

Cornyn is the Senate minority whip and second-most powerful Republican on Capitol Hill.

He is also facing a challenge from Stockman for his Senate seat in the Texas GOP primary on March 4.

A Stockman spokesman told WND a formal Request For Investigation was filed with the Senate Ethics Committee Monday. He said Cornyn could face as many as 24 counts of using his Senate office to promote his reelection campaign.

The congressman claims he has been targeted by establishment Republicans and broke the news to WND on Jan. 31 that he was suing Cornyn’s Super PAC for libel.

Stockman’s suit accuses the PAC of “numerous false statements” including “some of the most outrageous, malicious defamation ever recorded in Harris County (Texas).”

The Texan said the PAC is run by former Cornyn staffer Randy Cubriel and funded by a $2 million check from the late Robert Perry, a $185,000 donor to Cornyn and advocate for immigration amnesty.

The congressman’s office said the group lists Karl Rove’s Warrenton, Va., address in TV station records for its ad purchases.

As for the ethics complaint, Stockman’s office said a search of Cornyn’s Twitter account (@JohnCornyn) finds Cornyn’s taxpayer-funded office shared messages from the campaign account (@TeamCornyn), photographs promoting Cornyn’s re-election campaign and endorsements of Cornyn’s re-election at least 24 times between Sept. 23, 2013 and Jan. 10, 2014.

Stockman’s spokesman said Senate ethics rules strictly prohibit any communications from a senator’s official office that directly promote or publicize his political campaign.

The spokesman cited the Senate Ethics Manual, telling WND, “Rules Committee policy on Senate Internet services prohibits any linkage on the member’s official website to his or her (or any) campaign website. A senator’s official Twitter account is governed by the same rules as his or her official website.”

The materials have been turned over to Senate Ethics Committee investigators. They are publicly available online.

Stockman claims Cornyn has a history of violating ethical rules, saying the senator previously admitted to filing four years of false financial disclosure statements.

The congressman’s office cited an excerpt from a National Journal report June 17, 2013, that read, “In a series of financial-disclosure amendments that he began filing last July, Cornyn disclosed that he had actually been collecting that $10,132 annual pension as far back as 2006. He had not listed it on his original disclosure reports from 2006 to 2010.”

Stockman’s spokesman said FEC records also show Cornyn had has to correct false information on campaign finance reports at least 121 times.

Follow Garth Kant on Twitter @DCgarth

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