Charles Krauthammer baselessly claimed that, regarding allegations of corruption against Washington political figures, "the slate on the Republican side is almost a clean one." In fact, several Republicans remain under federal investigation for various alleged misdeeds.
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On the June 16 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer baselessly claimed that, regarding allegations of corruption against Washington political figures, "the slate on the Republican side is almost a clean one." In a discussion about Rep. William Jefferson's (D-LA) removal from the House Ways and Means Committee, Krauthammer stated that because former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA) is "gone, he's in jail," former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) is "no longer in Congress" and White House senior adviser Karl Rove "g[ot] off in the case of the CIA leak," now "all that's left is Jefferson and the cash in the freezer." But Krauthammer overlooked reported federal investigations of several Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (TN), Rep. Bob Ney (OH), and Rep. Jerry Lewis (CA). Further, newly released records show that House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) profited from selling land in Illinois near a highway project for which he obtained federal funding.
Krauthammer's comment came at the end of a week in which Lewis hired a "high-profile legal team" in response to a federal investigation into his relationship with a Washington lobbying firm. Krauthammer's comment also followed a Chicago Tribune report which, analyzing congressional financial disclosures, showed that Hastert and two partners earned a $3 million profit from the sale of land near a highway project for which Hastert helped secure federal funding through an earmark in a transportation bill. The property was sold three months after the bill containing the earmark was signed; Hastert has denied any wrongdoing. Additionally, a June 15 article in The Tennessean noted that the release of Frist's financial disclosures prompted a spokesman of his to issue a written statement that Frist "continues to fully cooperate" with a federal investigation into possible insider trading concerning his sale of stock in the hospital chain founded by his father, HCA Inc., an investigation that was first reported in September 2005. The statement concluded that Frist "remains confident of the outcome" of the investigation. Ney is reportedly being investigated for his ties to disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
From the June 16 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume:
ANGLE: Now, there's William Jefferson commenting on the fact that he was thrown off the Ways and Means Committee today, even though he has not been indicted, and to throw someone off a committee who has not been indicted is unprecedented. Nevertheless, Democratic caucus voted this week to do it, and today, the entire Congress approved of that move. And Charles, Nancy Pelosi was leading the charge.
KRAUTHAMMER: She had to. Some cases of corruption are complicated. Whitewater, I never understood. The case against Tom DeLay depends on interpretations of campaign law, which nobody understands. You try to explain the CIA leak case, you explain it for eight minutes and you don't know what you're saying. But all you've got to say with William Jefferson is one phrase: cash in the freezer. Everybody understands that. And that's why this is not about indictment or the rule of law; this is about obvious stuff. And when it's so obvious and so easy to understand, the Democrats understand they cannot carry him as a poster of this kind of behavior, especially in a year in which the Democrats have counted on the Republicans having all of these issues. And look what's happened. Duke Cunningham was a Republican who was indicted; he's gone, he's in jail. Tom DeLay, all of his charges, he's no longer in Congress. The -- of course, Karl Rove, he gets off in the case of the CIA leak, and the slate on the Republican side is almost a clean one. All that's left is Jefferson and the cash in the freezer, and that's a problem if you're a Democrat.