One of the great theories that has been floating around Washington is that the GOP decided to attack Susan Rice when she was thought to be the leading candidate for Secretary of State. They attacked Ambassador Rice so that Obama would then nominate John Kerry. They reason that they wanted Kerry was so that Scott Brown could run in the special election for Kerry’s seat. Scott Brown, as you’ll recall, ran for Ted Kennedy’s old seat and won, but he had a little problem winning re-election because of Elizabeth Warren. Look, all of this maybe true. I just don’t think that Scott Brown is the man that he was 24 months ago. I don’t think that progressives will look at him as a decent alternative to a real progressive. I’m thinking Caroline Kennedy is looking better and better.
To catch up on the Senator John Ensign scandal, here are a couple of posts (here and here). There is plenty that we have learned about Senator Ensign. He basically used his position to get sex from a married woman who worked for him. I thought that Senator Ensign was slime before. This story is only missing drugs and rock’n’roll. It has a bizarre, secretive religion called The Family. It has a jealous husband. It has rich parents helping to pay off the married woman and her sap of a husband. It has a cover-up with the help of another Senator. There are a couple of people in this tale who need to go to jail. Ensign is one of them. (The Senate Ethics Committee report is here.)
The Senate Ethics Committee has uncovered extensive evidence that former Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) and others broke U.S. law by trying to cover up an affair Ensign had with a campaign aide, the wife of one of his top Senate staffers.
The panel has forwarded the evidence of criminal activities to the Department of Justice for further investigation, which it is required to do in any investigation that turns up evidence of criminal wrongdoing, Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), who chairs the ethics panel, and Johnny Isakson (R-GA), said in letters to the DOJ and FEC released Thursday along with a final report from a special prosecutor handling the case.
“The committee voted unanimously to refer Senate findings to the Department of Justice and the Federal Election Commission because we have reason to believe that Sen. Ensign violated laws within their jurisdiction,” Boxer said in a rare floor speech addressing the committee’s usually private proceedings.
The evidence the committee uncovered is so egregious, Boxer said, that a special counsel assigned to the case was set to recommend expulsion had Ensign not resigned. The potential criminal actions include aiding and abetting the violation of the one-year post-employment lobbying ban, discrimination on the basis of gender, false statements to the FEC and obstruction of justice, among others. (more…)