Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Hastings Should Appoint Outside Counsel

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Following yesterday's revelations about Ethics Chairman Doc Hastings' close relationship to the lobbying firm that hosted Jack Abramoff sleazy dealings, the Seattle P-I weighs in and says it's not credible that Hastings can impartially oversee an investigation into Tom DeLay. That's what we said in a letter to Hastings and ranking Ethics Committee member Alan Mollohan almost two weeks ago.

Here's a snippet from the editorial (which was entitled "Hastings Connection: Too close for comfort"):

The disclosure of close connections between House Ethics Committee chairman Doc Hastings, a powerful Seattle-based Washington, D.C., lobbying firm and embattled House Speaker Tom DeLay seals the argument that an outside special counsel should pursue the DeLay investigation.

Adding urgency to the matter is the glacially-slow pace at which the Ethics Committee is getting around to conducting its business. Job number one is Tom DeLay. According Mike Allen's reporting in the Washington Post, it will be months before a staff is hired and put to work. DeLay is ready -- he lawyered up this week by adding Richard Cullen of McGuireWoods to his legal defense team.