This doesn’t shed much light on the allegations we heard yesterday, but the House Ethics Committee has released a brief statement about Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY). The statement says that “The Committee, pursuant to Rule 18(a), is investigating and gathering additional information concerning matters related to allegations involving Representative Eric Massa.”

This is the first OFFICIAL communique we’ve had from the Ethics Committee on Massa. I confirmed last night through sources that the Massa matter was before the Ethics panel.

Now, the Ethics Committee LOOKS at things all of the time. It is noteworthy that the committee has issued this statement, which is at least an acknowledgement that it is pursuing SOMETHING regarding Massa. That said, it is far short of the committee establishing an “Investigative Subcommittee.” When the committee does that, you know that there is some “meat” to the allegations. The establishment of an investigative subcommittee is the Congressional equivalent of an indictment. For instance, the Ethics Committee currently has an investigative subcommittee probing Rangel.

Yesterday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) indicated that he told Massa’s staff that he would refer the issue to the Ethics Committee if they didn’t. Massa is accused of sexually harrassing a male staffer in his office.