This was passed along to me as an ‘interesting threat,’ and I agree:
Ohio Republican Chairman Bob Bennett said Thursday that he’d ask Rep. Bob Ney to resign from Congress if he were indicted on felony charges.
Bennett stressed that Ney, R-Heath, has not been charged with any crime and that the party backs him for re-election.
However, if the Justice Department investigation of former Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff leads to a Ney indictment, that would change.
“If he’s indicted for a felony, we would ask him to step aside until the matter is cleared up,” Bennett said in a phone interview with The Enquirer.
Ney, who was traveling in Ohio this week, called The Enquirer to repudiate Bennett’s comments.
“No party boss tells my constituents what to do,” Ney said. “They will decide this thing.”
Abramoff and his associate, Michael Scanlon, have pleaded guilty in federal court to using campaign contributions and gifts – such as a golf trip to Scotland in 2002 – in exchange for official favors from Ney.
Ney has said he did not do anything improper or illegal and is cooperating with investigators, who have subpoenaed him for documents.
Asked if Ney planned to step down if Bennett urged him to do so, Ney said: “I would say if he asked me to step down that he’d better look in the mirror because glass houses break easily.”
I m not sure of what to make of it, but it sure sounds like Ney has got something on the entire Ohio power structure.