Monday, May 01, 2006

Will Mollohan Continue Overseeing DOJ Budget While Under Investigation?

this is an audio post - click to play

Congressman Alan Mollohan, D-FairmontWhile Congressman Alan Mollohan, D-Fairmont, has relinquished his post as the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct during the ongoing criminal probe of his personal finances and over $150 million of federal earmarks he has obtained for a network of nonprofits led by close friends, associates & personal business partners, virtually unnoticed is the fact he is still the ranking Democrat on the Appropriations subcommittee that directly controls the budget of the Department of Justice.

According to Mollohan's congressional web site, "he is 'Ranking Minority Member' -- the top Democrat -- on the Subcommittee on Science, State, Justice, Commerce and Related Agencies. The subcommittee funds the departments of State, Justice and Commerce, as well as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), among others."

Although Mollohan is in the minority party, the Appropriations Committees of both houses of Congress have long operated in a very bipartisan fashion regardless of the party in power. Indeed, one of the dirtiest secrets of Capitol Hill has been that there are really three parties in Congress: the Republicans, the Democrats, and the Appropriators. As a ranking minority member of the subcommittee that controls the DOJ budget, Mollohan wields considerable power over the entire federal law enforcement apparatus at the same time he has become the central focus of a mushrooming corruption probe.

To protect the integrity of the appropriations process and the administration of justice, should not Congressman Mollohan step aside as the ranking Democrat on this subcommittee, if not his seat on the subcommittee altogether, until the investigation runs its course?