A so-called "Truth Commission" to investigate alleged Bush era crimes is fully warranted, Vermont Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy told Rachel Maddow on her MSNBC show Tuesday night.
After all, President Bill Clinton was investigated for six years, and at a cost possibly in the "hundreds of millions of dollars," after Clinton left office, Leahy asserted.
Yes -- after. Here's what Leahy said in response to a question from Maddow --
MADDOW: During his confirmation hearing, some Republicans tried to get now-Attorney General Eric Holder to promise that he would not prosecute Bush administration officials. I wonder if you've had any discussions about your middle-ground truth commission proposal with your Republican colleagues? If you've had any reaction from them.
LEAHY: Oh I've talked to some. They're saying, oh it would be terrible to investigate a former president's administration. We would never do that. I said, you spent six years doing that for the Clinton administration. You had thousands of hours spent, tens of millions, perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars investigating then-former president Clinton. Let's, this makes about as much sense as those who say, well, you know, we voted to get us into this economic mess, we can't vote to get us out of this economic mess. If I was, if I was a cynic, I would say it was hypocritical. But being a kind, benevolent person, I'd say it's just, they're being forgetful.
"Forgetful," Senator? You're soaking in it.
This has to be one of the most extraordinary coincidences in history. Not only was Clinton the subject of numerous investigations while president, Clinton was also, according to Leahy, the target of a major investigation after he left office, one that also cost millions and lasted six years. Heck, what are the odds of that?
Funny thing about this post-Clinton presidency probe, however -- its existence remained hidden until Tuesday when it was publicly revealed for the first time by Leahy on the Maddow show. Maddow, unaware she'd been spoonfed a major bombshell, merely laughed in response.
In case Leahy ever reads this, I'd like to break it to him -- that six-year investigation of Clinton, culminating in his impeachment in the House and Senate trial, occurred while Clinton was president. And the people working at the Maddow show must believe this as well, because while Leahy was speaking, footage was shown that appeared to be of late Chief Justice William Rehnquist presiding over Clinton's trial in the Senate (gee, how did Maddow's producers know to have such specific archival footage ready for Leahy's remarks ...?)
In fact, the independent counsel who succeeded Kenneth Starr, Robert W. Ray, cut a deal with Clinton on Jan. 19, 2001, Clinton's last full day in office. It was the lead story in the New York Times the next day if Leahy would like to see it. I saved my copy, sensing it might come in handy eventually.
When it comes to show trials for Bush junta hooligans, Sen. Leahy, you'll need a more compelling rationale than tit-for-tat in response to the post-Clinton era prosecution of Bubba that never occurred.
And in your tireless pursuit of Truth, you might want to work your way up from accuracy.