Commentary: Beyond Rep. Joe Wilson's expense reports

It might very well be that U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson has done nothing wrong during his numerous taxpayer-funded trips to war zones, but he has done plenty wrong in his ham-handed attempts to delegitimize an ongoing ethics investigation into the matter. Consider:

After his campaign made hay of that claim, and after congressional sources told McClatchy Newspapers that investigators were examining Mr. Wilson's use of expense money on his unusually high number of foreign trips — at least 30 in the past eight years — he finally admitted that investigators had asked him about other purchases as well, though he claimed not to be able to remember just what.

Mr. Wilson is one of two Republicans and three Democrats being investigated for their use of tax dollars on taxpayer-funded trips abroad. And the panel investigating Mr. Wilson is not controlled by the speaker, or any other member of Congress. It's composed entirely of people outside the Congress, four Republicans and four Democrats. And while it has riled up members of both parties since it was created in 2008 in the wake of the Jack Abramoff scandal, its biggest critics — and its biggest targets — have been Democrats.

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