February 24, 2009


In handling its investigation of Sen. Roland Burris’s (D-Ill.) conflicting testimony regarding his appointment, the Senate Ethics Committee is finding itself in something of a quandary. . . . Ethics committee action resulting in an expulsion vote may be the only way to make the embarrassing fallout of filling President Obama’s Senate seat go away.

But any swift moves by the usually lethargic self-policing panel would be highly unusual and could lead to even more questions about whether the clubby upper chamber is singling Burris out unfairly. Even though members of the Congressional Black Caucus are no longer rushing to his aid, a bold ethics committee move could reignite the racial tensions surrounding Burris’s selection. . . . Meanwhile, it took a year of investigating for the panel to admonish former Sen. Pete Domenici (D-N.M.) for his role in contacting the U.S. attorney in his state about a pending federal grand jury probe into public corruption. The ethics panel has yet announce an investigation into Sen. Chris Dodd’s (D-Conn.) Countrywide mortgage and its favorable loan terms.

While they’re at it, there’s that Irish “cottage,” too.

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