Thursday, April 28, 2005

…and Starring Tom DeLay as Sgt. Schultz

According to Jeffrey Birnbaum in the Washington Post, if Tom DeLay escapes punishment from the newly-minted House Ethics Committee, it will be because he will invoke the same tactic that Bernie Ebbers tried to use in the Worldcom trial, known as the Sgt. Schultz defense: “I know nothing!”

“The rules are written in a way that indicate that if a member of Congress is misled about who’s paying for things, that is a credible defense,” said Kenneth A. Gross, a lawyer who deals with congressional ethics. The House will have to wrestle with whether DeLay, the chamber’s second-ranking Republican, knew or should have known that he might be violating House rules.

Uh huh. You can say a lot about Tom DeLay, but one thing he is not is unaware of his surroundings. He knows exactly who’s who, what’s what, and why things happen — and who makes them happen. That’s how he got to be the House majority leader. He sure didn’t get the job based on his winning personality and bright eyes.

By the way, if DeLay pleads ignorance before the House committee and it turns out he’s lying, can he be indicted for perjury?