Congress

Congressman’s staff booked room used for fake hearing shown on Ukrainian TV

U.S. Rep. Ron Estes held a town hall discussion at Newman University in August.
U.S. Rep. Ron Estes held a town hall discussion at Newman University in August. The Wichita Eagle

The office of Rep. Ron Estes reserved a room in the U.S. Capitol for an event broadcast on Ukrainian television that was falsely portrayed as a congressional hearing.

Ukraine’s NewsOne channel televised last month what it indicated was a hearing into the National Bank of Ukraine, the country’s central bank.

But in fact there was no congressional hearing.

The Weekly Standard reported that no member of Congress attended, but NewsOne described it as “U.S. Congressional Committee on Financial Issues.” What did take place was a panel discussion hosted by former Rep. Connie Mack of Florida.

Those who attended the “hearing” were given a report on combating corruption in the National Bank of Ukraine, the magazine said.

The Daily Beast reported Monday that Estes’ office had made the reservation.

A spokesman for Estes confirmed Tuesday that the congressman’s office had made the reservation, but said it was made by staff, not Estes, and that Estes had no prior knowledge of the reservation. The Daily Beast described the reservation as having been made as a courtesy to Mack.

Going forward, Estes’ office will not reserve a room unless he plans to attend.

Jonathan Shorman: 785-296-3006, @jonshorman

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