My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Where's Chuck Schumer on This One?

A couple days ago the ubiquitous Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) called on the President to help tone down the rhetoric of the debate over the judicial filibuster.

So, I wonder where Sen. Schumer was yesterday when his party's leader, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) broke with both decorum and the rules of confidentiality to wildly smear one of the President's nominees--Henry Saad.

Minority Leader Harry Reid strayed from his prepared remarks on the Senate floor yesterday and promised to continue opposing one of President Bush's judicial nominees based on "a problem" he said is in the nominee's "confidential report from the FBI."

Those highly confidential reports are filed on all judicial nominees, and severe sanctions apply to anyone who discloses their contents. Less clear is whether a senator could face sanctions for characterizing the content of such files.

Do you suppose this might qualify as "over-the-top", Senator?!?

Standing Rule of the Senate 29, Section 5: "Any Senator, officer, or employee of the Senate who shall disclose the secret or confidential business or proceedings of the Senate, including the business and proceedings of the committees, subcommittees, and offices of the Senate, shall be liable, if a Senator, to suffer expulsion from the body; and if an officer or employee, to dismissal from the service of the Senate, and to punishment for contempt."

Furthermore, a "Memorandum of Understanding" covering the use of FBI background reports limits access to committee members and the nominee's home-state senators. Mr. Reid would fall into neither category.

So, in one fell swoop, Sen. Reid:

:admitted to being privy to the contents of a file which he should not even have access to

:characterized the contents of that file in a way that is a clear violation of the rules of the Senate

:characterized the contents of that file in a way which can never be substantiated OR refuted--simply a wild smear

Let's all remember, please, that a Republican staffer was dismissed not very long ago for simply accessing a file on a Democratic computer referring to judicial nominees. What he did was neither illegal or unethical (as the computer was left in a common area), nor did he publish for general consumption anything confidential from within the computer. And he got fired!!

So, what sort of punishment should we expect Harry Reid to face? Heh heh heh--sorry, sometimes I crack myself up.

OF COURSE HE WON'T FACE ANY PENALTY!! C'mon, there are no rules for Democrats, only ends and means, and the one always justifies the other. Besides, the GOP leadership has shown no stomach for the sort of ethical confrontation this would require.

Even Judge Saad can't defend himself:

Confidants of Judge Saad said yesterday that the judge would release the file but that he has never seen it, let alone obtained copies of it. Judge Saad is not permitted to see the file, Senate staffers said.

What does this add up to?

Michael Bouchard, sheriff of Oakland County in Michigan and a personal friend of Judge Saad, said he is "absolutely" certain that the FBI file doesn't contain anything damaging.

"I think Harry Reid is lying," he said. "He's hiding behind something he knows he'll never be asked to show. Harry Reid is a coward."

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