Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

House Republicans backed down last week from a rules change that would have eviscerated the independent Office of Congressional Ethics. But an important sentence quietly slipped through another rule change. That sentence enables individual members to hide official documents that could prove embarrassing or even incriminating if they were suddenly investigated by the ethics office or the Justice Department for criminal activity. The new rule states that records created, generated or received by the congressional office of a House member "are exclusively the personal property of the individual member" and that the member "has control over such records," according to a report by OpenSecrets.org. While the rule change might seem relatively benign on the surface, it has severe and troubling implications for future ethical oversight and investigations of members of Congress as the Republicans fully take charge of Congress and the White House.

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Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, said Monday that the rules change "is not good" and threatens to erode ethical oversight in government further. She said it leads to a situation where "There's no cop on the beat -- that we've lost a critical element of independent oversight" over government records and members' activities.

"Why on earth would Congress now create barriers to investigation and subpoenas of a member's spending records?" she added. "This only benefits the incumbent politicians who passed this rule and those who would flout it, not the system and certainly not the public.

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The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

#1 | Posted by Petrous at 2017-01-10 03:08 PM | Reply

Does the change prevent a warrant?

#2 | Posted by Petrous at 2017-01-10 03:10 PM | Reply

Warrants are available in Criminal matters only.

#3 | Posted by Sycophant at 2017-01-10 03:17 PM | Reply

It's ok to hide your records from the people. Brought to you by the same people who pitched a fit over Hillary Clinton deleting some personal emails.

#4 | Posted by johnny_hotsauce at 2017-01-10 03:32 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 5

"Drain the swamp." No bigger lie in recorded history.

#5 | Posted by 726 at 2017-01-10 03:43 PM | Reply

The GOP House is hell bent on proving that they are above the rules no matter what.

Drain the swamp! - Suckers.

#6 | Posted by 726 at 2017-01-10 03:45 PM | Reply

Brought to you by the same people who pitched a fit over Hillary Clinton deleting some personal emails.

Don't forget the past 8 years they spent -------- themselves over Obama being transparent.

#7 | Posted by 726 at 2017-01-10 03:47 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

Some swamp.
Some drain.

#8 | Posted by Doc_Sarvis at 2017-01-10 04:08 PM | Reply

"Ethics? We ain't got no ethics! We don't need no ethics! I don't have to show you any stinking ethics!"
--GOP Congress banditos,
"The Treasure of Capitol Hill"

#9 | Posted by catdog at 2017-01-10 05:02 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Out goes the old swamp in comes a new swamp

#10 | Posted by PunchyPossum at 2017-01-11 04:59 AM | Reply

SSDD

#11 | Posted by FedUpWithPols at 2017-01-11 07:43 AM | Reply

"If there are no ethics rules, then everything we do is ethical."
-GOP

#12 | Posted by Sycophant at 2017-01-11 12:10 PM | Reply

Not a swamp: Congress is more like a bog, a wet spongy ground of decomposing vegetation; has poorer drainage than a swamp; soil is unfit for cultivation but can be cut and dried and used for fuel.

#13 | Posted by Judity at 2017-01-11 01:55 PM | Reply

As American politics becomes more like Russian politics, where a kleptocracy of the ruling elites owns and runs everything, they seem to not understand we peons don't really need them. So long as they only steal from the middle class, the last source of stealable goods and services, and leave us riff-raff on the bottom alone, there will be no revolution. Keep that religion, sex, and teevee coming, though.

#14 | Posted by john47 at 2017-01-12 08:09 AM | Reply

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