Tuesday, December 12, 2006

House rebukes Jim McDermott

My congressman has been rebuked by the US House or Representatives. In 1996 he received illegally recorded tapes of a cell-phone conversation by Newt Gingrich. The people who recorded the conversation plead guilty to wire tapping or something similar. Janel Reno never saw an infraction by a Clinton supporter and let McDermott off. However Congressman John Boehner sued McDermott and won and won on appeal, including the Supreme Court telling the courts to have a trial. The ethics committee didn't have the stomach to get the whole House of 435 members to censure him. There was grounds to, because the standard is "a member must behave 'in a manner which shall reflect creditably on the House of Representatives.'" He certainly did that. Anyone who paid attention saw that he lied. He told the New York Times on television that he knew nothing about the tapes that the New York Times received. The House ethics committee did what they could. Seattle Times -
WASHINGTON — In an end-of-year effort to wipe longstanding cases off its agenda, the House ethics committee on Monday rebuked U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott for leaking an illegally taped phone call between Republican congressmen a decade ago. The committee's carefully worded report said that McDermott, D-Seattle, did not violate congressional rules of conduct, which state that a member must behave "in a manner which shall reflect creditably on the House of Representatives." However, the 25-page report said McDermott's actions were "inconsistent with the spirit of the applicable rules and represented a failure on his part to meet his obligations" as the ranking member of the ethics committee at the time. "Representative McDermott's secretive disclosures to the news media ... risked undermining the ethics process," the report said.

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