Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Moral Relativism of Senator Hutchison

Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has attracted some richly deserved derision for her inane comment about a possible "perjury technicality" from Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald. As Howard Kurtz recounts in the Washington Post, Hutchinson went on to compare this investigation to that of Martha Stewart:
Hutchison likened the senior administration officials who might or might not be indicted to Martha Stewart, who was only charged with a cover-up (lying about insider trading is okay as long as you're not convicted of insider trading?)
There's a reason that it's a crime to lie to federal investigators, including the SEC. Laws like those prohibiting insider trading -- or revealing the identity of a CIA operative -- require truthfulness on the part of at least some of those involved if they are to be enforced. Martha Stewart stubbornly chose to lie to the SEC in the face of contrary evidence. What's a civil servant to do?
By the way, this line of defense can be found under "2. Argue the law" in my breakdown of what to expect from administration apologists.
Amid the lawyers' leaks and speculation running rampant in Washington, Steve Clemons reports in The Washington Note that "an uber-insider source" expects 1 to 5 indictments today.


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