This is one of those rare Associated Press articles that is a pleasure to read. I almost suspect it was written by a closet Republican. It begins:
House Democrats, insistent that they will hold lawmakers to higher standards, decided Tuesday that Rep. William Jefferson will not return to an influential committee until a federal corruption investigation involving him is completed.
The dissonant note is introduced immediately. “Higher standards” and “William Jefferson” are hard to reconcile. The AP continues:
At Pelosi’s urging, the House last June stripped Jefferson of his [Ways and Means] committee assignment because of the corruption investigation that included an FBI document asserting that agents had found $90,000 in bribe money in the Louisiana Democrat’s freezer.
Pelosi has promised to make lobbying and ethics reform a top priority when she becomes speaker next month, and the Jefferson case has been cited as an early challenge.
A challenge indeed! But wait, there’s more.
While depriving Jefferson of his committee assignment, the Democrats have been mum about another member of the Ways and Means Committee, Rep. James McDermott, who on Monday was admonished by the House ethics committee for violating ethics standards by giving reporters access to an illegally taped telephone call involving Republican leaders a decade ago.
Why did this take a decade? I don’t know. Aren’t Democrats opposed to warrantless surveillance? Still more:
Pelosi must also make a decision about Rep. Alan Mollohan of West Virginia, who is in line to become chairman of an Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the FBI. Mollohan faces questions about personal business deals.
A discreet veil is drawn over Mollohan’s troubles, which we chronicled here.
It will be interesting to see how much of this AP story actually runs in tomorrow’s newspapers. A prediction: lots of papers will exercise discretion on the Dems’ behalf.
Via Power Line News.
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