CYNTHIA MCKINNEY WATCH


Well it looks like crazy Cynthia has a chance of getting away with striking a US Capitol Officer. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution files this report:

Washington – The grand jury investigation of 4th District Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney enters its third month today with no hint from the federal prosecutor about how much longer it will take to settle a case that legal experts said should have been wrapped up in a matter of days.

McKinney was accused of striking a Capitol Hill police officer March 29, and the case was referred to the grand jury April 5. The drawn-out process of deciding whether she should be charged with assault has police fuming that the DeKalb County Democrat is getting preferential treatment from a politically motivated prosecutor.

"Right from the start this U.S. attorney has handled this case differently from every other case," said Chuck Canterbury, national president of the Fraternal Order of Police. "And it's because she is a sitting congresswoman."

McKinney's office and the office of U.S. Attorney Ken Wainstein declined to comment.

The case comes at a time of heightened tensions in Washington. A series of arrests, indictments and criminal investigations involving at least five members of Congress have fueled disputes between Capitol police and Congress and between Capitol Hill and the Justice Department.

Republicans and Democrats alike furiously denounced a recent FBI raid on the office of Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) as a violation of the constitutional separation of powers.

And Capitol police, already angry over McKinney's case, bristled when superiors ordered them last month to drive Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) home rather than investigate the possibility that he'd been drinking after he crashed his car into a barricade near the Capitol. Kennedy later blamed the incident on prescription drugs he'd been taking and checked into a rehabilitation facility.

What most angers the police about the McKinney case is that it involves an assault — no matter how minor — of a police officer. Police reported that McKinney hit an officer in the chest after he failed to recognize her as a member of Congress and tried to stop her from going around a security checkpoint, something members of Congress and their aides are typically allowed to do.

"It's obviously frustrating for us," said Andy Maybo, head of the Capitol Hill police union. "This sends out the message that it's OK to hit a police officer — and it's not, regardless of who you are."

In legal terms, McKinney's case "is as simple as you can get," said George Washington University legal expert Jonathan Turley. Usually anyone who hits a police officer is immediately arrested on felony charges, police and legal experts said.

In political terms, however, Mc-Kinney's case is far from simple. "It is loaded with emotion, and I think the U.S. attorney is being very, very conservative in how they approach this."

Given the political sensitivity — made all the more delicate by Mc-Kinney's early accusations that she was the victim of racial profiling — legal experts said it's understandable that no decision has been made.

"That would be unusual for a run-of-the-mill case, but this isn't a run-of-the-mill case," said Frank Carter, former head of the public defender service in Washington whose clients included White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

He said many cases like McKinney's never reach a grand jury because they're settled quietly and privately, avoiding a public spectacle. "This ... begged for that," he said.


She's still a nut job!

Others blogging about Mckinney's Deal:

Drudge: Mckinney deal may be in works
Dignan's 75 Year Plan: Dignan v. Cynthia McKinney
Michelle Malkin: Cynthia Mckinney: Slo-Mo Probe
Wonkette: Hey, Remember Cynthia Mckinney?

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