Originally created 01/16/97

Expel McDermott! 011697 - The Augusta Chronicle



No one, not even Democrat House Whip David Bonier, D-Mich., wants to destroy Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., more than Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash.

But despite his phony effort to blame Republicans for an "ethics charade," when McDermott announced Tuesday he was resigning from the Ethics Committee, it was a tacit admission that he had a direct hand in leaking an unlawfully taped phone conversation between Gingrich and other GOP leaders - a felony.

Quitting the panel only goes half-way. If the Gingrich-hating congressman had a shred of decency, he'd resign his seat. Criminal activity is far worse on the ethics scale than violating House rules.

Moreover, Gingrich accepts responsibility for his actions and apologized for them. Like a criminal blaming bad parenting, McDermott accepts no responsibility and blames everything on Republicans.

When the Ethics panel finishes with Gingrich next week, it should look at McDermott. If it finds him responsible for leaking the tape, it should urge the maximum penalty: expulsion from the House.