Skip to comments.Massa Details Ethics Case Against Him, Blames Democratic Leaders
Posted on 03/07/2010 10:33:26 PM PST by Blonde
Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) told a New York radio station Sunday that an ethics investigation into his behavior focused on sexually-charged comments he made to an aide at a New Years Eve celebration, but charged he was unaware of an ethics committee investigation into the incident until after he had announced his retirement last week.
Massa said he had believed the committee was investigating an unrelated fundraising letter, and suggested that the ethics dust-up may have been orchestrated by Democratic leaders to get him out of office before the health care vote.
In an audio recording of Massas weekly radio show on New York station WKPQ Power 105 FM, made available via the Web site of local station 13 WHAM-TV, the New York lawmaker detailed the incident that he says is the center of the ethics inquiry.
On New Years Eve, I went to a staff party. It was actually a wedding for a staff member of mine; there were over 250 people there. I was with my wife. And in fact we had a great time. She got the stomach flu, he said.
Massa explained that he then danced first with the bride, who was not identified, and then with a bridesmaid. He said multiple cameras recorded the incident.
I said goodnight to the bridesmaid, Massa continued. I sat down at the table where my whole staff was, all of them by the way bachelors.
One of them looked at me and as they would do after, I dont know, 15 gin and tonics, and goodness only knows how many bottles of champagne, a staff member made an intonation to me that maybe I should be chasing after the bridesmaid and his points were clear and his words were far more colorful than that, Massa said. And I grabbed the staff member sitting next to me and said, Well, what I really ought to be doing is fracking you. And then [I] tossled the guys hair and left, went to my room, because I knew the party was getting to a point where it wasnt right for me to be there. Now was that inappropriate of me? Absolutely. Am I guilty? Yes.
But Massa said that the staff member whom he made the comments to never said to me that he felt uncomfortable, and charged that incident was raised by another aide who had witnessed the incident.
It was a third-party political correctness statement, Massa said. Massas former deputy chief of staff, Ron Hikel, has been identified in media reports as the source of the ethics complaint.
In the radio show, Massa also accused Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) of lying about the timeline of the investigation.
In a statement released Wednesday, Hoyers office said the Maryland lawmaker was alerted to the allegations against Massa in early February by his staff. The statement said Hoyer gave Massa or his office 48 hours to report the complaint to the ethics panel or threatened to do so himself.
Steny Hoyer has never said a single word to me, at all, ever, not once. Not a word. This is a lie. Its a blatant, false statement, Massa said.
Massa also suggested that Democratic leaders are using the ethics committee to get him out of office before the vote on health care because he voted against the House health care bill last fall.
"Mine is now the deciding vote on the health care bill and this administration and this House leadership have said, quote-unquote, they will stop at nothing to pass this health care bill, and now theyve gotten rid of me and it will pass. You connect the dots."
The New York lawmaker said his chief of staff informed him in early February that the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, also known as the ethics committee, had begun an inquiry and would interview each of his aides, but he did not know the substance of the investigation.
Its not a like a normal court, you dont get to know who your accuser is. You dont get to know what youre being accused of. Anyone can accuse you of anything. The trade-off for that is this is all suppose to be incredibly secret until of such time there are findings of fact, he said.
Massa said he assumed the inquiry focused on an unrelated fundraising violation.
There was another ethics violation, because someone released a letter under my name for fundraising, he said.
On the radio show, Massa said he has yet to be contacted by the ethics panel.
I still havent heard anything officially from any Member of the ethics committee, he added, while re-reading the statement he released Friday announcing his resignation, which is scheduled for Monday.
The House ethics committee confirmed Thursday that it is investigating unspecified allegations against Massa.
Massa surprised political observers when he announced on Wednesday that he would not run for re-election in November. He cited a recurrence of cancer as the reason for his decision.
Glenn Beck is covering this right now on his radio show...and, if they can get ahold of Massa, GB will do a lead with him today on his Fox Network Show.
Now...my thoughts on his resigning NOW as opposed to staying on and voting no...well what if there are others who have been set up similiarly? What if Massa thinks coming ‘out’ will discredit the leadership (Hoyer, Pelosi, Emmanuel) and empower others to do the same as well.
Let’s look at the Blue Dogs...who else was a NO that could be being threatened? I think maybe Massa isn’t isolated here.
WOW .. Drudge is all over it .. in flaming red.
Keep your security close, Massa.
Wow is right. This Massa thing is blowing up all over the place. Ingraham is playing clips of the radio interview.
Maybe it wasn’t a good idea to take on a mouthy New York stater.
Now we truly witness what a dirty blood
game they’re playing ... it’s all out WAR.
Iwonder what finally got to him that made him decide to speak out. He HAS to be scared.
Rush should be very interesting today.
Did anyone save Maggief’s article before server crashed?
See these links for updates and audio:
Rep. Massa Blast Dems: He Was Set Up
May Rescind Resignation
Breitbart ^ | March 08, 2010
Massa: “Rahm Would Strap His Children to a Locamotive for a Vote” (confronted him in the shower)
NBC Chicago ^ | March 08, 2010 | ANDREW GREINER