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Ethics committee closes investigation of Massa

By Carol D. Leonnig
The House ethics committee decided Wednesday to close its short-lived investigation into allegations that now-resigned congressman Eric Massa groped and sexually harassed younger male staffers in his office, according to two sources familiar with the decision.

The committee concluded that Massa's resignation put him outside the reach of any punishment the committee could dole out, and would render any findings of wrongdoing irrelevant. But the move appears likely to set up a political battle with House Republicans, who are already complaining in campaign ads that Congressional Democrats are unwilling to look too deeply into or punish the ethical transgressions of their own.

Republicans signaled Wednesday morning, just before the House ethics committee was set to hold a meeting, that they wanted the probe to continue. Republican sources said that the public deserved to know who in the House Democratic leadership knew about the swirling allegations and what they did upon learning that congressional staffers might be victims of harassment.

By Web Politics Editor  |  March 10, 2010; 5:44 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Capitol Briefing  
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Next: Patrick Kennedy calls press 'despicable' for Massa coverage (video)

Comments

Hi Attucks,

You call it "overreaching." I call it "freedom of speech."

Hey, what a concept!

Debra...
Informing Christians

Posted by: DebraJMSmith | March 10, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Here we have a few bad Republicans and a whole sh##pile full of corrupt Democrats. Let me see now which one do we choose? We have no choice but to choose the lesser of the two evils.

Posted by: joanne38 | March 10, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse


The corrupt judging the corrupt.

Posted by: ronrod17509 | March 10, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse


The corrupt judging the corrupt.

Posted by: ronrod17509 | March 10, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Yeah well....

Can anyone say? Larry Craig

Posted by: dove369 | March 10, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

From NYT:
"Previously undisclosed e-mail messages provide new evidence on efforts by Senator John Ensign, above, to steer lobbying work to the husband of his former mistress."

Priceless!

Posted by: knjincvc | March 10, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Beck knew Massa was a DeamonRAT squirrel, but, there was a chance to make news and he took a flyer.

The upside is that Massa shows just how disfunctional a rabble the Dumbs are.

To boot, the OTHER SHOE(joke), the permanent Cap Hill WASHINGTOON STAFFS, were exposed by the Beck inquiry. Obviously, they are rigged by Leadership with pervs of all kinds ready to service their elected members' every weakness and provide ANY TIME 'testimony' back to their financial sponsors about their various entrapment's 'success' ON DEMAND when legitimate forms of coercion fail to return a wayward Member to the Party line. Though ignored FOR THE MOMENT, how long can this 'gold' go undetected?

The bath houses in SW and brothels of NW are safe FOR ONE MORE DAY. But, will that last?

Posted by: dumpbama | March 10, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

They don't need an investigation. He has already resigned. Besides, he does a great job of incriminating himself.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | March 10, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Former Navy shipmates of ex-Rep. Eric Massa tell the Atlantic that he several times made aggressive, unwanted advances on subordinates.

A sample allegation from the story:

According to Peter Clarke, a Navy shipmate, Massa was notorious for making unwanted advances toward subordinates. He tells the story of his friend Stuart Borsch, with whom Massa shared a hotel room while on leave during the first Gulf War. "Stuart's at the edge of the bed," Clarke says Borsch told him at the time, "and [Massa] starts massaging him. Massa said, 'You'll have to get one of my special massages.' He called them 'Massa Massages.'" Ron Moss, a Navy shipmate and Borsch's roommate, confirmed that Borsch told him this story at the time.

Read the whole thing.

Clarke also told the Atlantic that Massa's roommate, who was on the top bunk of a small stateroom, once woke up "to Massa undoing his pants trying to snorkel him."

Massa, who served in the Navy for 24 years, acknowledged Sunday that he once was accused of misconduct after walking in on a Navy roommate masturbating and remarked "you need any help with that, let me know."

Posted by: omaarsblade | March 10, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

rlj1 and joy5 JUST DON'T HAVE THE FACTS.

FACT:
Massa served 24 years in the U.S.Navy.

He's ALREADY got a govt. pension.

Posted by: dumpbama | March 10, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Patrick Kennedy that it's outrageous so much press has been devoted to this issue and, as he said, only two news media were there when the wars and its funding was being discussed, which is a life and death matter.

Posted by: BettyW1 | March 10, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Hi fbutler1,

Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution does not give congress the right to take care of our personal welfare, nor does it give congress the right to take care of the welfare of the individual states.

Article 1 gives Congress the power to collect taxes for the "common defense" and the "general" welfare of The United States. --This is within the first power that is given to congress. The rest of the powers tell just what the "common defense" and "general welfare" falls within; none of which is our personal health care.

"Common defense" and "general welfare" are joined by the conjunction "and." The conjunction "and" equates "common defense" and "general welfare" as they pertain to The United States.

Just as you cannot call on the federal government to do something about a neighbor threatening your life, you cannot call on the federal government to help with your personal welfare. The federal government (FBI) would tell you that the situation is not a federal issue. Hence, so to, is your personal welfare, not a federal issue.

The 10th amendment states: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Debra...
Informing Christians

Posted by: DebraJMSmith | March 10, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Bad news, Debra.

Your interpretation of the Constitution, the 10th Amendment, Darwin, Romans 13, Unitarianism, and just about anything else is entirely your business, but you overreach when you presume to be "informing" anybody at all. And Obama is your president, like it or not.

Posted by: Attucks | March 10, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

People make comments that are completely untrue. He CANNOT/WILLNOT get retirement/pension he doesn't have nearly enough years of service. Ethics complaints are automatically dropped when someone resigns the same as in corporations. Someone who is no longer an employee cannot be punished - which is one of the reasons he said he resigned because he wanted to spare his family.

Posted by: rlj1 | March 10, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Another Democrat homosexual predator bites the dust. Freshman congressman, Democrat, homo, predator, disgraced, ousted.


Posted by: screwjob11 | March 10, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse


Ousted by the Democrats. Straight to Glenn Beck. Who has, sadly, neglected to interview Larry Craig.

Posted by: Attucks | March 10, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

I don't want this Soviet-style Health Care debacle being prepared for force-feeding us.

Just do what's Constitutional. THAT'S what was SWORN.

Posted by: dumpbama | March 10, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Hi fbutler1,

Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution does not give congress the right to take care of our personal welfare, nor does it give congress the right to take care of the welfare of the individual states.

Article 1 gives Congress the power to collect taxes for the "common defense" and the "general" welfare of The United States. --This is within the first power that is given to congress. The rest of the powers tell just what the "common defense" and "general welfare" falls within; none of which is our personal health care.

"Common defense" and "general welfare" are joined by the conjunction "and." The conjunction "and" equates "common defense" and "general welfare" as they pertain to The United States.

Just as you cannot call on the federal government to do something about a neighbor threatening your life, you cannot call on the federal government to help with your personal welfare. The federal government (FBI) would tell you that the situation is not a federal issue. Hence, so to, is your personal welfare, not a federal issue.

The 10th amendment states: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Debra...
Informing Christians

Posted by: DebraJMSmith | March 10, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

All I know is that if the Washington media all say to stop talking, then you've probably hit paydirt somewhere.

Posted by: blasmaic | March 10, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

It's ignorant to say Massa will continue to receive government benefits...he only had, what, 14mos in office?

Members of Congress receive retirement and health benefits under the same plans available to other federal employees. They become vested after five years of full participation.

Members elected since 1984 are covered by the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS). Those elected prior to 1984 were covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). In 1984 all members were given the option of remaining with CSRS or switching to FERS.

As it is for all other federal employees, congressional retirement is funded through taxes and the participants' contributions. Members of Congress under FERS contribute 1.3 percent of their salary into the FERS retirement plan and pay 6.2 percent of their salary in Social Security taxes.

Members of Congress are not eligible for a pension until they reach the age of 50, but only if they've completed 20 years of service. Members are eligible at any age after completing 25 years of service or after they reach the age of 62. Please also note that Members of Congress have to serve at least 5 years to even receive a pension.

The amount of a congressperson's pension depends on the years of service and the average of the highest 3 years of his or her salary. By law, the starting amount of a Member's retirement annuity may not exceed 80% of his or her final salary.

Posted by: joy5 | March 10, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Look, everybody but the rookie Members seems to be in on the dirty no-so-secret. The Cap Hill permanent staffs are riddled with PERVERTS of any and all kinds who are quite willing and able to service any and every perversion a Member may either desire or be tempted to desire. Once the acts have transpired, the DATA is available for Leadership to MINE in case it ever needs LEVERAGE to arm-twist (or worse) a Member into voting with the Speaker. HAVE YOU GOT IT...NOW?

Posted by: dumpbama | March 10, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

I've grown accustomed to the crazy meanderings on these boards. With that said, the statement below ranks right up there with the most ridiculous statements I've ever read.
---------------------

"Furthermore, during the course of this investigation claims were made by the accused of a naked encounter with a high ranking white house employee, Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel is the president's chief of staff. If this event transpired then Emanuel should be out of the white house immediately. This isn't "boys will be boys." We can't have the white house intimidating people in the shower. "

Posted by: redd1

Posted by: BigBubba1 | March 10, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Another Democrat homosexual predator bites the dust. Freshman congressman, Democrat, homo, predator, disgraced, ousted.


Posted by: screwjob11 | March 10, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse


The way Massa backtracked on King and Beck's shows, and was apologetic to Rahm, was probably his part of the deal in order to get the Dems to close his case.

'You go away quietly and we'll close our investigation.'

It appears there was something there, there.

Posted by: janet8 | March 10, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

These are all government employees, including those who made the accusations of harassment, and therefore the investigation should continue. Massa will continue to receive government benefits as well. No member of congress can have accusations such as this leveled at him (or her) without an investigation.

Furthermore, during the course of this investigation claims were made by the accused of a naked encounter with a high ranking white house employee, Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel is the president's chief of staff. If this event transpired then Emanuel should be out of the white house immediately. This isn't "boys will be boys." We can't have the white house intimidating people in the shower.

I don't care at all about someone's political agenda, either.

Posted by: redd1 | March 10, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

how convenent...for health care!

Posted by: canyon2 | March 10, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

To Debra, I would answer that in the Constitution, the very first thing... Article 1... that's where they get the power.... assuming that you believe in the Constitution (the document actually exists, despite your best efforts to provide a fog around it).

Just like they had the power to make Medicare a reality, they have a right to reform the way our healthcare INDUSTRY works, although they are mostly just dealing with how insurers behave. I would hope that in 2400 pages of a bill (plus the other parts), that they would be talking about much more than just what health insurers need to do.

But yeah, you're not very bright. I don't care about Slaughter, her opinion or yours, but if you don't understand that the Congress has the power to make the laws of the land, then you are a friggin idiot. If you don't like the laws, then vote your bums out, but you're not going to keep Congress from doing what this country needs it to do - although I'm sure you don't give a da__ whether insurance companies jack up rates or not. All you care about is if somebody says God in the pledge of allegiance and prayer in schools and whatever other BS they tell you to care about. You don't care about anything that matters - and if you think you do, you sure as hell don't try to educate yourself about how this country is supposed to operate.

Congress p_sses me off, a lot, but I'm not so stupid as to think they don't have the power to create new laws. For those following along, the reason why we have a Congress is to build upon the very foundation that is our Constitution. If we didn't need to make new laws based on the current issues of the day, there would be no need for a Congress.

We could sure as hell do without a few million Debras out there. We need BETTER INFORMED PEOPLE, not more random idiots that don't even understand basic gov't. It's no wonder Congress is the way it is. The people are too stupid to realize what good gov't should look like and how people should really act when in power. And might I add, some of us have our priorities mixed up.

Posted by: fbutler1 | March 10, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

from fbutler1 : "..That said, WTF Dems. Dropping the ball here."

I think it was "his picking up the ball" in the first place that led to him "getting the shaft" No doubt he thought he had a "firm grip" on the situation but then it all blew up in his face. I may be grasping at straws here, but I think this is "but a crack" in a carefully crafted veneer of respectability and we are "truly on a slippery slope" with no light at the end of the tunnel.

Posted by: corrections | March 10, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Republicans want a *probe*? Why am I not shocked? LMAO On a slightly more serious note, what's with these Congressmen fondling their *staff*ers? With all the clout they possess, they can't go out and find a prostitute like normal people? (LMAO) Okay, I'll stop. First the Republicans did this en masse, now, Democrats? Republicans didn't even bother to investigate things when they were in power, so they have no moral authority over anything. That said, WTF Dems. Dropping the ball here. Also, what's with the homosexual tendencies from married Congressmen (Senators included). I understand Barney Frank doing it, because he's, well, homosexual. I don't understand all these other old men trying it. It's like they're trying to act black by giving dap, only not.

Posted by: fbutler1 | March 10, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

excuse me, screwjob, but this particular predator happens to have been a Republican until very recently. This is not a partisan issue.

Posted by: HydeParker | March 10, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

If Eric Massa is guilty of anything, it is of being a bit wet-behind-the-ears and behaving immaturely. It is not uncommon for men his age to relapse into juvenile behavior, in an effort to be as young as the younger guys.

And I say this as someone who greatly differs from him, politically. I feel that his answer to health care, was just as unconstitutional as the bill that he would not vote for. However, the fact remains that he was not voting for the bill and they got rid of him.

Eric Massa stated that the Democrat party would "stop at nothing" to pass the health care bill into law. Next door, in district 28, fellow Democrat Congresswoman Louise Slaughter demonstrated her ability to "stop and nothing," when she berated me on a radio show.

Slaughter was the guest on the radio show, and I was the first caller. I asked her where the constitution gives congress the power to do what they were doing with health care, saying that it does not give them the power. She became irate with me, to the point of making a false claim against me, which I saw as an attempt to scare me off and shut me up. Because I am used to people lying, in attempts to silence us right-wing Christian activists, I did not miss a beat and got us right back onto the topic at hand. The false claim that the congresswoman tossed out at me, was a fabrication that would have been built from something found on an internet blog.

To hear the audio, go to: http://www.debrajmsmith.com/090809HL2.html

Debra J.M. Smith
of
Informing Christians

Posted by: DebraJMSmith | March 10, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse


Another Democrat homosexual predator bites the dust. What else is there to investigate?

Posted by: screwjob11 | March 10, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

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