Local congressman says he wasn’t involved in GOP Israel incident

UNDATED — A nine-day trip to Israel, in which a local congressman was involved, is being investigated by the FBI.  Congressman Tom Marino (R-10,Williamsport) joined a group of several congressmen on the trip last August.  The trip was paid for by The American Israel Education Foundation.

According to a Politico report, the FBI probed events on the trip that involved drinking, with reports of several intoxicated congressmen and staffers.  The report states one member of congress swam naked after drinking.  Although these actions are not illegal, some are questioning the purpose of the trip and what work was accomplished.

A statement by Marino’s staff says:

“Tom was not part of this incident that occurred on August 18, 2011. In fact, he did not even take part in the dinner that preceded the incident, choosing instead to join with a few others to eat at a McDonalds near the Sea of Galilee.

“This is an unfortunate distraction from the serious work Congress needs to do to address slow economic growth, an 8.3% unemployment rate, and a national debt that will soon hit $16 trillion.

“As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Middle East Subcommittee, this trip was an important opportunity for Tom to learn more about the U.S.-Israel relationship and the threats our ally Israel faces from its neighbors in the region.”

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