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Government & Politics

Governor, Lawmakers React to News Of FBI Inquiry into Ohio House Speaker

House Speaker Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) talking to reporters following a House Finance Committee meeting on Tuesday.
Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell), an ally of House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, talks to reporters following a House Finance Committee meeting on Tuesday.

Gov. John Kasich says he doesn’t know much about the FBI’s inquiry into activities involving House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger. 

Details of the FBI’s inquiry and whether they are carrying out an official investigation has yet to be confirmed. Kasich says he doesn’t know anything about it.

“No, I haven’t talked to him but Cliff’s a friend of mine. In fact, yesterday, as I was spending a little bit of time saying some prayers for people, I said one for him. I don’t really know all that is involved in this. But I am really, really hopeful that, by the time everything is done, in fact I don’t even know what the details are but when it’s all done that he will emerge as somebody that didn’t do anything wrong. That’s what I hope,” Kasich said.

Rosenberger has said he hasn’t been told he’s under investigation and had hired an attorney.

Other House Republicans are also reacting to the news that the FBI is asking questions about the actions of Rosenberger. 

Smith comments on the inquiry.

Sources have suggested that Rosenberger’s international travel with lobbyists might be the topic of the FBI’s questioning. Republican Representative Ryan Smith is a close ally of Rosenberger. He says the FBI has not contacted him and that he was not able to talk about the possibility of subpoenaed records.

Smith adds that he would have a different take on traveling if he were speaker.

“I have another job, four kids and a wife so I don’t go out and travel much so that’s just the reality that I have," Smith said.

Smith’s opponent, Republican Representative Larry Householder, did not return a request for comment.

Householder was the focus of an FBI investigation into a kickback scheme when he was speaker in 2004. No charges were filed.