Monday Aug 20, 201212:12 PM GMT
FBI probes GOP trip with drinking, nudity in Israel
Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:11PM
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During a trip to Israel, Rep. Kevin Yoder disrobed and jumped into the Sea of Galilee.

The FBI is investigating an incident last summer when about 20 GOP lawmakers and staff took a dip in the Sea of Galilee-some partially clothed and one completely nude.

 

“A year ago, my wife, Brooke, and I joined colleagues for dinner at the Sea of Galilee in Israel. After dinner I followed some Members of Congress in a spontaneous and very brief dive into the sea and regrettably I jumped into the water without a swimsuit,” Yoder said in a statement to POLITICO.

 

Several lawmakers privately admitted that alcohol may have played a role in why some of those present decided to jump in. Daily Beast

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

During a fact-finding congressional trip to Israel last summer, Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) took off his clothes and jumped into the sea, joining a number of members, their families and GOP staff during a night out in Israel, the sources told POLITICO.

 

Other participants, including the daughter of another congressman, swam fully clothed while some lawmakers partially disrobed. More than 20 people took part in the late-night dip in the sea, according to sources who were participants in the trip.

 

The FBI has looked into whether any inappropriate behavior occurred. After the lawmakers and staff returned to the United States, FBI agents questioned congressional staff about the trip.

 

Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who was the senior most GOP lawmaker in Israel on the trip, was so upset about the antics that he rebuked the lawmakers the morning after the Aug. 18, 2011, incident, saying they were distracting from the mission of the trip.

 

Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was also on the privately funded excursion, which means two of the three top Republicans were a part of this trip. Neither Cantor nor McCarthy went swimming that night, the sources said. Some of their staff did.

 

The American Israel Educational Foundation, a group related to AIPAC, the prominent pro-Israel lobby, sponsored the trip, which ran from Aug. 13 to Aug. 21, 2011.

 

The trip cost AIEF upwards of $10,000 per person, according to records filed with the House Ethics Committee. More than 60 people took part in this AIEF trip. Politico

 

AHT/HJ

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