New Hampshire GOP chairwoman calls congressman untruthful
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The head of the state Republican Party said Thursday that GOP U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta “has clearly been untruthful” about where he got $355,000 to spend on his 2010 campaign.
In a letter to the party’s executive committee on Thursday, Chairwoman Jennifer Horn didn’t directly call for Guinta’s resignation, as other Republicans have done, but said she told him that she doesn’t trust him and that his actions are beneath the honor of his office.
“I have done everything possible to make sense of all of this. But I have come to the conclusion that I simply cannot believe him anymore,” she wrote. “Congressman Guinta is ultimately accountable to the people of New Hampshire’s First District. However it is clear that his credibility has been irreparably damaged. I hope that Frank can recognize this and act accordingly.”
Guinta said Thursday that he’s committed to his job.
For years, Guinta flatly denied the money was an illegal campaign donation from his parents and insisted he and his wife had saved it through years of hard work. He later told the Federal Election Commission that since he was a young child he contributed to and managed a “family pot” of money that was in his parents’ name but was available to him and his siblings at any time for any purpose.
Guinta maintains that his only mistake was improperly reporting money that was rightfully his. But in an agreement made public last month, the commission concluded that Guinta broke the law by accepting donations above the legal limit from his parents, fined him $15,000 and ordered him to repay the money. At that time, the state Republican Party’s executive committee and Horn declined to take any formal action against Guinta, but the pressure for him to resign has increased since Tuesday, when the FEC released documents detailing its investigation.
According to the FEC, Guinta’s family contradicted his claims. His sister said she didn’t know the “family pot” existed, and his mother “did not characterize the funds as owned by Rep. Guinta,” the FEC said.
Horn, in her letter, noted that Republicans can’t credibly criticize Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton “if we are unwilling to call out members of our own party who have also lied and betrayed the public trust,” she wrote.
“Additionally, it’s unfair to the hundreds of other candidates who will run as proud Republicans in 2016 for us to continue to make excuses for somebody who has not been honest,” she said.
Later Thursday, state Republican Party Vice Chairman Bryan Gould resigned from his position in response to Horn’s letter. He told WMUR-TV that Horn’s letter was neither fair nor accurate.
Guinta, asked to discuss Horn’s letter, said Gould’s comments echo notes he has received from supporters.
“I am committed to my job and the legislative responsibilities serving the good people of New Hampshire,” he said.
Several fellow Republicans have called for Guinta to step down. U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte said last month if she were in Guinta’s position she’d resign. Several Democrats also have called on Guinta to resign.