To be fair to Attorney General Eric Holder, I’ve spent the entire holiday weekend searching for historic evidence of a government official investigating his own alleged wrongdoing.
I haven’t given up hope yet, but so far I’ve come up with zero, zilch, nada . . . nothing.
As Senator Tom Coburn bluntly put it on Face the Nation, “You cannot investigate yourself. I think it’s a total conflict of interest.”
I always assumed that was rather obvious, but perhaps I’m just naturally more suspicious of this sort of thing than they are in Washington.
Then again, I would think if it’s that common, there are plenty of other presidents who could have used this investigative method to get out of quite a few jams.
Bill Clinton is smart (Yale grad and all). You’d think he could have avoided the whole Monica Lewinsky mess if he’d just put himself in complete charge of the entire investigation. Personally, I would probably have been just fine with that. I was national Chairman of the Young Republicans during that sordid affair, and I can’t tell you all the people who razzed me about being the “Republican Monica.” I can’t look at William Kristol of the Weekly Standard without recalling that this was the first comment he made upon meeting me.
Still, I have serious doubts about how such an “investigation” might have concluded. Would President Clinton have come clean about the “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” pronouncement punctuated by the indignant finger wagging he gave the country?
After a thorough “investigation,” would Clinton have stepped in front of the cameras and sadly admitted, “Okay, you got me. I lied, and if you need more proof, I have a blue dress I want to show you.”
What about Richard Nixon? He was dumb enough to record all his misdeeds for the world to hear later. To make matters worse, when the recordings were discovered and the investigators demanded to hear them, eighteen minutes of information conveniently was missing. In the world of investigation, his looks like an open and shut case. Even investigating himself, which would be pretty tough for an egotistical guy like Nixon, it would seem pretty difficult for him to convincingly declare himself innocent to the world.
Do you think Nixon could have investigated himself and reached the same conclusions as the Watergate Committee?
Perhaps Eric Holder is different. Maybe he can get to the bottom of all this and if he finds that he’s actually the problem step forward and fire himself or demand his own resignation. At the very least, perhaps he could put himself on administrative leave with pay.
Who knows? If this all works out, maybe we can start a trend in this country with everyone just investigating their own alleged misdeeds. While it may not reduce the incidence of crime or corruption, I’d almost bet it would reduce the cost of incarceration to next to nothing.