Democrat Senator’s Aide Arrested in Child Sex Sting

December 4th, 2007 10:47 AM

An aide for Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) was arrested last Friday for attempting to sexually exploit a minor.

I guess you didn't hear about this in the middle of Hillary Clinton looking so regal and presidential during the hostage takeover in New Hampshire.

Could that be why this seedy story was hushed-up for three days?

While you ponder, the Associated Press finally reported Monday (h/t JammieWF):

James Michael McHaney was fired Friday from his job as a scheduler for Cantwell, hours after he was arrested by FBI agents. The FBI said in court papers that McHaney is accused of trying to set up a meeting with a witness posing online as a teenage boy.

McHaney, who appeared in federal court on Saturday, was being held without bond pending a court hearing on Wednesday, said Channing Phillips, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office for the District of Columbia.

According to court papers, McHaney, known as Mike, tried to arrange a lunchtime meeting with an unidentified person posing as a 13-year-old boy. When the witness, working under the supervision of the FBI, asked whether McHaney was interested in sex with a 13-year-old, McHaney allegedly replied, "I'll be there," the court papers said. He later asked for a photo of the child, the FBI alleged.

Here's the money shot:

News of the arrest was first reported on the Web site,

That's correct. The organization that first reported this affair was TSG on Monday. Yet, according to AP, Cantwell's office was informed of this arrest last Friday:

Cantwell's chief of staff, Michael Meehan, issued a statement Monday night saying McHaney had been fired.
"Late Friday afternoon the FBI informed our office that a Senate employee was arrested. The employee was immediately fired. Our office has and will continue to fully cooperate with the ongoing federal criminal investigation. Senator Cantwell has zero tolerance for crimes against children," Meehan said.

Why was this statement delayed by three days? Was this sordid affair hidden from or buried by the press? Why did it take The Smoking Gun to find this out and report it? Is it possible this was kept quiet so as not to distract from Hillary looking so presidential all weekend? Would this have been the case if an aide for a Republican member of Congress had been so arrested and fired?

Yes, those are all rhetorical questions.

Moving forward, even though this is indeed just an aide, what's the likelihood of this getting much media attention now? And, will there be any scrutiny and outrage directed at Cantwell's office for not making a statement sooner?

Yes, those are rhetorical questions, too.

Liberal media bias? What liberal media bias?