GLENN: Do you think how I ended the show last night is how I started the show. I said, you have to ask yourself these questions and then you have to say, does it affect me. And I’m not interested in theoretical news. I’m only interested in the news that I can apply to make myself better or our country better.
GLENN: And I don’t think this affects anyone at this point. Now it’s just theoretical because I don’t think they are really going to clean anything up. It’s like Charlie Rangel. They are not going to clean it up. If it affects them, if it helps them, they will clean it up. If it doesn’t, they don’t care.
MALKIN: Yeah. Well, I’ll say that it affects folks to this extent. This isn’t just about Eric Massa, and we know that. This is about a House ethics committee that is essentially a corruption enabling cesspool and has been under both Republican and Democrat administrations. And to the extent that your audience and activists and people who care about integrity and government and returning this government to the limits and the constitutional accountability that it should have, I think that pointing to the House ethics committee and this shadow office of congressional ethics that was set up in the wake of the Abramoff scandals is something that you can do. I mean, here you have a woman who got up, wields her gavel and then invokes her gender as some sort of sense of moral superiority that now that a woman is in charge, we really will drain the swamp? Somebody needs to hold her accountable for those promises. And that’s people who are going to be able to go to the polls in 2010 and 2012 and people who are going to be able to run office and show these creepocrats and corruptocrats how to run a clean government.
Today, the GOP stepped up to the plate with a privileged resolution directing the Ethics Committee to fully investigate what House Democratic leaders and members of their respective staffs knew prior to March 3, 2010 regarding the allegations against former Rep. Eric Massa, and what actions each leader and staffer took after learning of the allegations. The resolution directs the committee to report its findings and recommendations no later than June 30, 2010.
Here’s the full text:
Raising a question of the privileges of the House.
Whereas, on March 8, 2010, Representative Eric Massa resigned from the House;
Whereas, numerous newspapers and other media organizations reported in the days before and after Mr. Massa’s resignation that the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct was investigating allegations that Mr. Massa sexually harassed Members of his congressional staff;
Whereas, on March 3, 2010, Majority Leader Hoyer’s office issued a statement saying, “The week of February 8th, a member of Rep. Massa’s staff brought to the attention of Mr. Hoyer’s staff allegations of misconduct that had been made against Mr. Massa. Mr. Hoyer’s staff immediately informed him of what they had been told”;
Whereas, on Thursday, March 4, Roll Call newspaper reported, “Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she only learned Wednesday of misconduct allegations against freshman Rep. Eric Massa, though her staff had learned of it earlier and decided against briefing her. ‘There had been a rumor, but just that,’ Pelosi told reporters at her weekly news conference. ‘A one-, two-, three-person rumor that had been reported to Mr. Hoyer’s office and reported to my staff which they did not report to me because you know what? This is rumor city. There are rumors.’”;
Whereas, on March 11, 2010, The Washington Post reported, “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office was notified in October by then-Rep. Eric Massa’s top aide [Joe Racalto] of concerns about the New York Democrat’s behavior”;
Whereas, on March 11, 2010, Politico newspaper reported, “Democratic insiders say Pelosi’s office took no action after Racalto expressed his concerns about his then-boss in October”;
Whereas, on March 9, 2010, The Corning Leader newspaper reported, “Hoyer said last week he told Massa to inform the House Ethics Committee of the charges within 48 hours. ‘Steny Hoyer has never said a single word to me, never, not once, not a word,’ Massa said Sunday. ‘This is a lie. It is a blatant false statement.’”;
Whereas, numerous confusing and conflicting media reports that House Democratic leaders knew about, and may have failed to handle appropriately, allegations that Rep. Massa was sexually harassing his own employees have raised serious and legitimate questions about what Speaker Pelosi as well as other Democratic leaders and their respective staffs were told, and what those individuals did with the information in their possession;
Whereas, the aforementioned media accounts have held the House up to public ridicule;
Whereas, the possibility that House Democratic leaders may have failed to immediately confront Rep. Massa about allegations of sexual harassment may have exposed employees and interns of Rep. Massa to continued harassment;
Whereas, clause one of Rule XXXIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, titled “Code of Conduct,” states “A Member, Delegate, Resident Commission, officer, or employee of the House shall conduct himself at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House”;
Whereas, the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct is charged under House Rules with enforcing the Code of Conduct;
Therefore, be it RESOLVED,
(1) The Committee on Standards of Official Conduct is directed to investigate fully, pursuant to clause 3(a)(2) of House Rule XI, which House Democratic leaders and members of their respective staffs had knowledge prior to March 3, 2010 of the aforementioned allegations concerning Mr. Massa, and what actions each leader and staffer having any such knowledge took after learning of the allegations;
(2) Within ten days following adoption of this resolution, and pursuant to Committee on Standards of Official Conduct rule 19, the committee shall establish an Investigative Subcommittee in the aforementioned matter, or report to the House no later than the final day of that period the reasons for its failure to do so;
(3) All Members and staff are instructed to cooperate fully in the committee’s investigation and to preserve all records, electronic or otherwise, that may bear on the subject of this investigation;
(4) The Chief Administrative Officer shall immediately take all steps necessary to secure and prevent the alteration or deletion of any e-mails, text messages, voicemails and other electronic records resident on House equipment that have been sent or received by the Members and staff who are the subjects of the investigation authorized under this resolution until advised by the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct that it has no need of any portion of said records; and,
(5) The Committee shall issue a final report of its findings and recommendations in this matter no later than June 30, 2010.
The House passed the resolution this afternoon. Details from The Hill:
The House voted Thursday to open an ethics investigation into what and when House Democratic leaders knew of allegations of sexual harassment against former Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.).
The House overwhelmingly backed a privileged resolution offered by GOP Leader John Boehner (Ohio) that will have the Ethics Committee look into what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), and other Democratic leaders and staffers knew about allegations of sexual harassment against Massa, and when they became aware of the situation.
Boehner offered the resolution early Thursday afternoon, and House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) called quickly for a vote.
Members of both parties voted overwhelmingly to support the resolution, which passed 44-2. No Democrats voted against the resolution, while two Republicans voted against it. The members of the Ethics Committee, which would conduct the investigation, voted “present,” as is custom.
During the GOP Mark Foley scandal, I condemned the apologists for Foley who pooh-poohed sexual predation on Capitol Hill. Now, we have liberal media buffoons doing the same. I agree with Tommy Christopher:
As the Eric Massa story continues to unfold, the media’s wall-to-wall coverage of it becomes thinner and thinner. On last night’s Countdown, fill-in host Lawrence O’Donnell spent 3 entire segments on the Massa story, alternately cracking wise about the Navy and obsessing over the sexual slang term “snorkeling.”
…Lost in all of this, however, is the fact that there are big parts of this story that aren’t funny at all. The things that Massa is accused of are revolting abuses of authority. I have two sons of an age where someone like Massa could exert this kind of pressure, and you’d better believe I wouldn’t be laughing if someone tried to molest one of them as they slept. This isn’t a gay thing, it’s a predator thing.
While the absurdity of Massa’s public performances are undeniably funny, where is even an iota of outrage over what this guy is accused of doing? I haven’t seen it anywhere else, and I didn’t see it during last night’s Massa Opus. That is a disgrace.
So is the silence of Massa’s many tacit enablers over the years — including the sanctimonious Speaker of the House who promised us nothing less than “the most honest, most open, and most ethical Congress in history.”
Here’s the roll call vote overwhelmingly supporting GOP demand for Pelosi/Massa ethics probe — 404-2. The only two no votes came from Republicans Dana Rohrbacher of California and Tim Johnson of Illinois. Curious, no?
CORRECTION: That was the roll call vote to end debate before final vote on GOP resolution.
Democrat Rep. Fattah was the only “no” vote. House Ethics Committee members did not vote, as is protocol. 12 other members voted “present.”
What did Nancy know and when?
Via the NY Daily News:
Disgraced ex-Rep. Eric Massa insists he never sexually abused anyone, but he filled his Capitol Hill rowhouse with low-paid male staffers in an arrangement ripe for trouble.
“It’s like he had people trapped,” said a Hill source.
Sordid new details emerged yesterday of a pattern of behavior that went back to his 20 years as a naval officer, as ex-shipmates came forward to describe incidents of groping and perhaps worse.
After resigning, Massa called his “inappropriate” behavior a carryover from his Navy days.
At the house on E St. Southeast yesterday, which Massa had shared with five of his staffers, clothes were piled on the floor and half-a-dozen pairs of shoes mingled with dirty towels next to an open pink suitcase in the living room.
A male staffer in his 20s who mans the front desk of Massa’s decommissioned House office appeared late in the day and went inside. He declined to comment, citing strict orders from the staff’s temporary employer, the House clerk.
In hindsight, Democratic insiders wondered about activities that before had just seemed odd. They said Massa hired a surprisingly large percentage of young gay men, and paid them so little that staffers were forced to live in the house with him.
“It’s not the gay part that’s a problem, it’s the abuse, if it’s true,” said one Hill source.
“The guy’s a freak,” a close friend of one embattled Massa aide told the Daily News.
Even as ethics officials apparently decided yesterday to drop their investigation of Massa because he is no longer in Congress, numerous new reports and interviews suggested there is much more to learn about the Navy vet.