America’s Native Criminal Class?

Mark Twain said that there is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress. However, he didn’t know about the Minnesota DFL party’s legislative delegation:

I wrote last night about Nicole Mitchell, the Democratic state senator who was arrested for first degree burglary after she broke into her stepmother’s home in northern Minnesota, some 3 1/2 hours from where Mitchell lives. After consulting a lawyer (and, I suspect, Democratic Senate leaders who want to hold on to their one-vote majority), Mitchell put out a statement in which she claimed that she had been performing a welfare check on her stepmother, who she says suffers from Alzheimer’s.

Sure, that makes sense. Everyone performs welfare checks by breaking into a basement window at 4:00 in the morning, clothed in black and equipped with a flashlight covered with a black sock, and completes the welfare check by purloining someone else’s laptop. Walter Hudson, a Republican legislator, posted a photo of the basement window that Senator Mitchell broke into:

Sure, that is how we all perform welfare checks. Now the transcript of the victim’s 911 call, which led to Mitchell’s arrest, has been made public. It makes for entertaining reading. The victim certainly didn’t think that she was the beneficiary of a welfare check by a relative:

A. Please just get here.

Q. All right. I’ll stay on–I’ll stay on the line with you. Don’t worry. I have officers en route right now. If you hear anything, just let me know what’s going on, OK?

A. Okay.

Q. Are you armed?

A. I have a little steak knife in my hand right now.

Great welfare check! More:

[A] 911 caller now identified as Sen. Nicole Mitchell’s stepmother said “Somebody has broken into my house… and they just ran down into the basement,” according to a 911 transcript obtained by KARE 11 News through a data practices request.

“I don’t know if he’s breaking out the back window or what,” the caller continued.

“Did you get a good look at him at all?” dispatcher Joe Robbins asked.

“No, it was completely dark. I tripped over ’em. Ah, he was on the floor next to my bed. He ran downstairs into my basement.”

Senator Mitchell was lying on the floor next to the victim’s bed. Far from identifying herself as a relative conducting a wellness check, the black-clad senator, mistaken for a man, fled to the basement where she had broken in. And where, fortunately, she was apprehended, telling local police “I know I did something bad” and “Clearly I’m not good at this.”

But that was then, and this is now. Today Mitchell is defending her actions and portraying herself as a victim of her demented stepmother’s paranoia. Still no explanation for breaking in the basement window.

Of course, the Democrats aren’t seriously trying to fool anyone. They just want to erect enough of a smoke screen to explain why Mitchell isn’t resigning, and thus triggering a special election that could flip control of the Senate to Republicans. When power is at stake, Democrats aren’t much worried about principle. Or criminality.

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