Watkins ‘voluntarily’ steps down from committee assignments

Published: Jul. 17, 2020 at 11:16 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Congressman Steve Watkins says he is voluntarily stepping down from his committee assignments after being charged with voter fraud.

Watkins serves on three House committees:

  • House Committee on Education and Labor
  • House Committee on Foreign Affairs
  • House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

He also serves on several subcommittees:

  • Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions (Committee on Education and Labor)
  • Higher Education and Workforce Investment (Committee on Education and Labor)
  • Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism (Committee on Foreign Affairs)
  • Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs (Committee on Veterans’ Affairs)
  • Technology Modernization (Committee on Veterans’ Affairs)

“Throughout my entire career, I have put service above myself, and this instance is no different. That’s why I’ve chosen to temporarily and voluntarily step aside from my committees, allow the committees to continue their critical work, and fight these bogus charges,” he said in written statement.

Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay filed felony counts Tuesday of interference with law enforcement for providing false information, voting without being qualified, and unlawful advance voting, plus a misdemeanor for not notifying the DMV of an address change. The charges stem from the 2019 Topeka City Council election, when Watkins registered using the address of a UPS store. He said it was a mistake, and later changed it to a west Topeka apartment complex.

“I look forward to exposing the corruption and collusion behind this blatant political prosecution and holding those responsible accountable,” Watkins said.

Watkins claims the charges are politically motivated.

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