FBI Probed GOP Skinny-Dipping in Galilee Sea

Congressmen's 'fact-finding mission' took a boozy turn
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2012 2:21 AM CDT
Updated Aug 20, 2012 4:11 AM CDT
FBI Probed GOP Skinny Dipping in Galilee Sea
GOP Rep. Kevin Yoder wasn't in Kansas any more. He's sorry if his skinny dipping embarrassed colleagues and his home state.   (RepYoder)

At least one GOP congressman who couldn't walk on water decided to go skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee instead. A group of Republican congressmen, aides, and family members boozed it up and cooled off in the water—one of them nude—during an official fact-finding trip to the Holy Land last year, according to witnesses. The FBI launched an investigation into the hijinks, which involved a skinny-dipping Rep. Kevin Yoder of Kansas, reports Politico. "After dinner I followed some members of Congress in a spontaneous and very brief dive into the sea, and, regrettably, I jumped into the water without a swimsuit,” Yoder said in a statement. He apologized for any "embarrassment I have caused for my colleagues and constituents."

Federal officials investigated the incident to determine if anything inappropriate occurred, but took no action. Yoder's office said neither the congressman nor any member of his staff was contacted by the FBI. But Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia was so upset he chided the 30 representatives on the trip the following day, notes Politico. Cantor "dealt with this immediately and effectively to ensure such activities would not take place in the future,” said his deputy chief of staff. The Sea of Galilee is considered a holy site where Jesus is said to have walked on water. The American Israel Educational Foundation, a pro-Israel group, spent $10,000 a head to send some 60 people on the eight-day trip, according to documents filed with the House Ethics Committee. (Read more Eric Cantor stories.)

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