September 30, 2003

Scandal Watch One of the

Scandal Watch

One of the fascinating aspects of unfolding scandals in the Beltway is surveying the breathtaking hypocrisy of the politicians carving out their partisan positions. The winner today, for me at least, has got to be Tom Daschle:

"Senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota, the minority leader, said an outside counsel was vital. "The conflicts that would exist in the Justice Department are obvious," Mr. Daschle said. "John Ashcroft won't even go after Ken Lay. How will he possibly go after someone appointed, who appointed him as attorney general?"

Kenneth Lay, who was once friendly with President Bush, is the former chairman of the Enron Corporation, which collapsed amid allegations of corporate wrongdoing.

When a questioner noted that Democrats had opposed several calls for independent prosecutors during the Clinton administration, Mr. Daschle said, "We don't have confidence in John Ashcroft. I had confidence in Janet Reno." ."

Um, ok. But wait, the Enron Task Force is pretty busy. Ken Lay isn't sleeping easy just yet.

And more confidence in Janet Reno? Oh my.

Oh, and there is this too:

"One Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, said on Monday that the situation was reason enough to revive the independent counsel law, which Congress allowed to die in 1999 after widespread concern over Kenneth W. Starr's Whitewater investigation".

Here's what Lieberman was saying back in '99:

"I see the Starr investigation and some of what I would call its excesses as a reason, a basis for us to amend the law when, as I believe we should, we reenact it. For instance, I think we ought to narrow the number of high officials of our government who are subject to this investigation. We ought to -- independent counsel. We ought to raise the threshold a bit for when the counsel gets appointed." [my emphasis]

Put on your seatbelts. There' s a lot more of this on the way...

Posted by Gregory at September 30, 2003 09:49 PM
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