KANSAS CITY, Mo. — U.S. Rep. Steve Watkins, R-Kansas, said Friday he is temporarily stepping aside from his committee assignments as he faces criminal charges filed this week.
Watkins serves on the Foreign Affairs, Veterans’ Affairs, and Education and Labor committees in the House.
Watkins, who represents the 2nd Congressional District in Kansas, also serves on several House subcommittees.
On Tuesday, the Shawnee County District Attorney’s Office filed three felony charges against Watkins related to voting irregularities.
Watkins said Tuesday the charges were “bogus.”
Watkins continued to use that phrasing in Friday’s statement.
“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.”
Despite claims that his actions were voluntary, the Associated Press reports House Republican rules state that members who face felony convictions to automatically leave their committee posts.