Hastings Case: Ethics Charge as Political Weapon?

In December, LOOP 21 put it right out there in an article by John S. Wilson: Are Black Politicians Targeted for Investigations Because Of Race? read

In the Hastings case, where his accuser alleges sexual harassment, it may be more complex than that.  Hastings, who was impeached as a judge 24 years ago, would appear to be an unsympathetic character.  At the same time, new documents related to the case show that the House Counsel’s office (Speaker John Boehner’s attorney) casts doubt on the accusations made against Hastings.  At the same time, Hastings admits to saying a few things to his accuser that could easily be defined as inappropriate.

The conservative legal group Judicial Watch, a group that has focused on Hastings many times before, filed a lawsuit against Hastings’ on his accuser’s behalf.  Interestingly, the accuser, Winsome Packer, has penned a novel that mirrors her accusations (no joke).  Suspicious?  It was revealed in documents that Packer is a Republican.  Does that mean that the allegations are trumped up? No. But a few documents related to the case indicate this is no clean cut case.

The House Ethics Committee decided last week to avoid a full blow ethics investigation on the Hastings matter.  Does that mean they can investigate in the future?  Yes.  But it also indicates the case is hardly a slam dunk.

U.S. House Counsel Kerry Kircher wrote a letter to the DoJ that cast doubt on Packer’s story.  The letter asserts that “while Ms. Packer’s allegations begin with a kernel of truth, when looked at in context, Ms. Packer grossly distorts the events and the circumstances in order to support a fiction that she experienced unlawful sexual harassment and retaliation. Based on OHEC’s review to date we do not believe that Ms. Packer experienced sexual harassment.”

More later…