Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Dan Simpson: Ethics, schmethics; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 8, 2017

Dan Simpson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; 

Dan Simpson: Ethics, schmethics

"The idea that the president’s choice to be U.S. attorney general, the nation’s top law enforcement official, would lie under oath to the Senate committee considering his nomination — people who were his colleagues as senators for 20 years — is stunning and possibly a sign of just how far down the standard of ethics in Washington has descended.

Nonetheless, that is exactly what Jefferson B. Sessions, who went on to be voted into office as attorney general, did. Asked a direct question about the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russian officials, he replied, “I did not have contact with the Russians.” It turns out subsequently, after the Senate had approved his nomination, that he did, on two occasions, once in his own office.

One of the problems of the descent of a nation, particularly one as large and important as the United States of America, is that the fall can occur, step by step, in the form of death by a thousand cuts. I am not saying that it is all over for us yet, but I am saying that Mr. Sessions’ lie to the senators, the position he was being considered for and the subsequent so-far refusal of President Donald Trump to fire Mr. Sessions for what he did, are grave evidence of the low state of ethics at the very top of our government."

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