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CRITICS HIT JIM MCDERMOTT ON WIRETAP HYPOCRISY

Reprinted from NewsMax.com

With Carl Limbacher and NewsMax.com Staff

 

For the story behind the story...

Sunday, April 9, 2006 10:03 p.m. EDT

 

There's at least one Democrat who unequivocally favors domestic wiretapping without a court order - and it may cost him his House seat in the next election.

No, we're not talking about President Bush's terrorist surveillance program. We're referring to leaking snippets of secretly recorded conversations between elected Republicans to the press.

That's just what Rep. Jim McDermott did in 1996, after a Florida couple intercepted a conference call among several House leaders - and he gave a copy of their recording to the New York Times.

One of McDermott's victims, House Majority Leader John Boehner, filed suit in 1998 - and every court that has ruled in the case since has found in Boehner's favor.

Two weeks ago the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. fined McDermott $700,000.

No matter. The Washington Democrat continues to maintain that he and his sources did the right thing.

"The third person in line to be president was plotting a deception on the [House] ethics committee and the American people in private," McDermott insists, referring to former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich - the main target caught on the tape.

Comments like that have even some of Washington state's normally supportive news outlets rolling their eyes.

"McDermott ought to give up the pretense of nobility and just admit he broke the law," the Tacoma Tribune editorialized last week.

The brouhaha has offered Washington Republicans new hope that McDermott's political number may finally be up.

His opponent, Steve Beren, has seized on the incumbent's wiretapping hypocrisy and calls McDermott's antics "an embarrassment."

"He opposes the Patriot Act and opposes the NSA terrorist wiretapping program. But he has no problem with illegally using tapes from real domestic wiretapping of a fellow congressman," Beren says.

In more good news for Republicans, McDermott is expected to appeal the wiretap ruling to the Supreme Court, which could keep the case - as well questions about his misconduct - alive through the November election.

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