The House Ethics Committee has taken the brave step of opening an investigation into Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA), one day after the DOJ indicted him. I wonder whether these people could be any more useless. Anybody who calls that a step up from Republican-led Committees who slept through the DeLay and Cunningham meltdowns entirely has dangerously low expectations. Ethics Committees exist to cut off corrupt behavior before it metastasizes into a DeLay/Cunningham/Jefferson embarassment, not to add a meaningless censure after the DOJ has already done their work for them.
Further, it will profoundly disappoint me if pro-Jefferson lobbying from the Congressional Black Caucus, which includes Democratic committee chairwoman Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, contributed to stalling the inquiry. The CBC has enough credibility problems (FOX debate) that it hardly needs the kind of blow that will come from shielding the most flagrantly corrupt House member since “Duke” Cunningham’s bribe menu.