For Rep. Jefferson, Due Process Was Exchanged For Politics

My concern was two-fold: 1) The Democratic Caucus does not have rules in place to remove a rank and file member who has not been arrested or indicted for any wrongdoing. In my opinion, due process requires objective standards for removing a duly elected Member of Congress from his or her committee, under any circumstances. There are no such standards now. To remove a member in the absence of those objective standards is inherently arbitrary and invites abuse. Our Democratic Caucus should have established rules governing this situation and then revisited whether Mr. Jefferson deserves to be removed under those agreed on rules. 2) The Democratic Caucus has had members with problems before, Gerry Studds and Gary Condit come to mind, and yet we have never punished a sitting member in this manner. I was and am concerned that by taking this action against Mr. Jefferson we are setting a dangerous double-standard. Our party is supposed to stand for the rights of the accused and the value of due process even if doing so isn't popular or politically expedient.