As we watch them drop likes flies accused of being jerks and pervs (there is a difference), the Washington Post, of all sources, urges a new focus on corruption.
But good old fashion corruption just doesn’t have the entertainment value of salacious accusations of sexual misconduct so it’s doubtful we will see a shift to ferret out other ethical misbehavior.
As Trump would Tweet, “Sad”.
WaPo To “Zero-Tolerance” Dems: Good For You. Now Do Menendez
From Hot Air:BY ED MORRISSEY, December 13, 2017
Maybe Al Franken won’t be the biggest loser from Alabama’s special election. Even before Capitol Hill Democrats got a workout from patting each other on the backs for Doug Jones’ victory in Alabama, Washington Post editor James Downie issued a challenge to their newfound outrage over unseemliness in public officials. Now that Al Franken and John Conyers have gotten the boot, Downie argues that it’s time to push Robert Menendez out the door too:
- Democrats should not wait for a new jury or Ethics Committee investigation: The known facts are damning enough for them to demand Menendez’s resignation. …
Some of the alleged favors for Melgen were relatively small potatoes, such as securing visas for Melgen’s girlfriends. In one case, Menendez’s then-chief of staff wrote that the visas were approved “only due to the fact that R.M. intervened.” Other favors were far bigger. He asked the State Department to assist Melgen in a dispute over a $500 million contact with the Dominican government. The New Jersey senator also allegedly pressured the Department of Health and Human Services to resolve a $9 million billing dispute in Melgen’s favor. In testimony, then-HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius described an “unusual” meeting with Menendez and Sen. Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.). “I understood he wanted me to do something,” she said. (It should be noted that Melgen has been convicted of 67 charges of Medicare fraud. Prosecutors estimate that the doctor’s scheme swindled the government out of as much as $105 million.) In no way is this conduct becoming of a senator.
Downie makes the point that the jury deadlocked on the case; prosecutors have not yet decided whether to try Menendez again. They certainly could, but in the meantime, the Senate Ethics Committee has taken their review back up again. (If prosecutors retry Menendez, they’ll suspend it again.) Downie argues, however, that the facts on the table are bad enough — and certainly worse than they were for Franken, if not Conyers. If they were willing to forgo due process on allegations that had not yet been fully tested, then Democrats’ “zero tolerance” mode should have kicked in ages ago on Menendez:
- Since the trial, the Senate Ethics Committee has resumed its enquiry into Menendez; many Democrats likely would prefer for that to run its course. But it is highly unlikely that new information for or against the senator will come out. With Capitol Hill Democrats rightly criticizing numerous instances of corruption in the Trump administration, it’s not much to ask that they stand up against similar cases in their own caucus. And it would show voters that Democrats aren’t satisfied with the Supreme Court’s narrow version of corruption. In a political climate in which voters on both sides are convinced that Washington is corrupt, this is a chance for Democrats to distinguish themselves as a party with standards.