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The Pathetic Ethics of Jim McDermott (Cont.)

Yesterday, Jim McDermott lost in court - again:

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott violated federal law by turning over an illegally taped telephone call to reporters nearly a decade ago.

In a 2-1 opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that McDermott violated the rights of House Majority Leader John Boehner, who was heard on the 1996 call involving former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

The court ordered McDermott to pay Boehner more than $700,000 for leaking the taped conversation. The figure includes $60,000 in damages and more than $600,000 in legal costs.

I wrote about the last time the wheels of justice spun against McDermott in this case. In late December, 2004, a U.S. Court of Appeals judge ruled that Congressman McDermott's "willful and knowing misconduct rises to the level of malice."

At the same time, Seattle PI columnist Joel Connelly got his hands on a fundraising plea being circulated by Mr. McDermott to help fill the coffers of his legal defense fund. The letter cited Tom DeLay - who has nothing whatsoever to do with the case - and accused the GOP House leadership of "using the courts" to "pursue" him. "We cannot allow Republican leaders to financially destroy a member of Congress who has a proven track record of standing up for endangered democratic values," the McDermott letter said.

But three years ago the vicious Mr. Boehner offered McDermott a deal: Boehner would drop the suit if McDermott would admit he was wrong, apologize to the House, and donate $10,000 to charity. McDermott refused and has been appealing the case since - and losing every time, with legal fees now totalling over a $1 million. Sometimes saying you're sorry is not only the right thing to do, it's the cheap thing to do as well.