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GOP Seeks To Expel Jefferson from the House

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) is pushing for the expulsion of House member William Jefferson (D-LA), who was indicted yesterday on multiple charges, including racketeering, solicitation of bribes, wire fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice, conspiracy and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Boehner, of course, also called for the expulsion of then-Majority Leader Tom DeLay when DeLay was indicted on charges of criminal conspiracy in 2005.

Oh, wait, actually…no, he didn’t.  In fact, here’s what Boehner had to say about DeLay on the occasion of DeLay’s “retirement” from the House:

“Simply put Tom is one of the most effective and gifted leaders the Republican Party has ever known. He was a tireless advocate for his constituents, the state of Texas, and all Americans who shared a commitment to the principles of smaller government, more freedom, and family values.

“The country owes Tom a great debt of gratitude for helping lead America in a new direction – a direction outlined in the Contract with America that saw balanced budgets, historic welfare reforms, lower taxes, regulatory relief, and a renewed respect for the sanctity of life. I am pleased he plans to remain active and engaged in fighting for the principles that unite our Republican majority.

“He has served our nation with integrity and honor, and I’m honored to call him my colleague and friend.”

I’m not sure integrity and honor have ever shared the same zip code with Tom DeLay.  And speaking of integrity and honor — or not — after Boehner assumed DeLay’s position as Majority Leader, he let Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) go to rehab for a month after Ney agreed to plead guilty to Abramoff-related corruption charges and then allowed him another three weeks to resign after the plea was signed.

None of this is intended as a defense of Jefferson.  By all accounts (except his and his lawyer’s) he’s a sleazeball who has used his office over and over again for personal gain, and it’s an embarrassment that he was re-elected after the Feds found $90,000 in his freezer last year.  He should resign and give his constituents the opportunity to replace him with someone who won’t be mired in legal proceedings for the foreseeable future.

But Boehner’s indignation?  I have to say it rings a bit false.

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