Last Tuesday morning, preparing for a day of research and trading, I was tuned into Bloomberg Financial News, and for some reason, now lost to my memory (old timer's disease I guess), I had turned it to MSNBC. Then about 1 O'clock I heard a familiar voice on the TV from the next room.
At first my mind did not pay that close attention, as I was focused on downloading investment information. But then it dawned on me what this plaintiff pleading from Representative Charlie Rangel in the well of the House was all about.
Perhaps here I should pause and point out that by the Grace of God I am a conservative, and, for the time being at least, a Republican by choice. From that perspective alone, getting a Democrat out of the Congress would be a refreshing relief. But, I have also had a lifelong interest in the law and, more especially, in the intangible concept of justice, having served as a police officer and as a judge. It was this sense of Justice which was piqued by his very poignant and well structured oratory.
No one, more than I, would agree that a corrupt politician should be given the boot and put in jail. But I would not agree that a "rush to justice" should be countenanced in any event. On the other hand, neither do I condone an inordinate delay in the dispensation of justice or the hearing of evidence, after all, justice delayed is justice denied to someone; and those who obstruct or intentionally delay the due course of justice allow the skirts of their integrity to be as stained with the misdeed as the alleged offender. And woe unto them whose skirts are stained by their obstruction should the accused be innocent!
Due Process of Laws, including a proper hearing and a speedy trial, are mandated by the Supreme Law of this Land and that mandate must have its prompt compliance. Those of us who chose to place ourselves in harm's way with our military or law enforcement service did not sacrifice, and some of us die, to preserve and protect a rule of man, theirs was a sacrifice for the Rule of Law!
Now, Congress, especially those of you in investigative and quasi-judicial roles, lend me your ears and heed this well! Charlie Rangel has a right to a due process compliant hearing, a hearing at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner, and a speedy trial; and our Constitution mandates upon you a legal, non-discretionary, self-enforcing duty to provide them! Do the duty you swore before Almighty God that you would do, or get out of OUR House! As far as I'm concerned, you're already 18 months late in getting it done.
It's just that simple. Otherwise, the perception of your present circumstance notwithstanding, with further delay you will have removed all doubt as to that presumption, and then it might be prudent for a Federal Grand Jury to take a long hard look at your conduct. The only time any man should ever be left, in Charlie Rangel's words, "swinging in the wind" is after fully compliant due process! As Representative James Clyburn observed in a follow-up interview, "... we (Congress) might need to make some changes." Amen, Rep. Clyburn, there's no "might" about it. AMEN!
Paul L. Nally