The U. S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, ruling en banc, delivered another in a long series of verdicts that have found Representative Jim McDermott, serving his 9th term representing Washington's 7th district, violated the rights of Rep. John Boehner when McDermott leaked an illegally taped conversation. The Court also ruled that Mr. McDermott broke House Ethics rules.
McDermott was a member of the House Ethics Committee at the time.
Earlier, a federal court ordered McDermott to pay Boehner $700,000 in damages and legal costs. The suit, Boehner vs. McDermott, was the first ever between two sitting Representatives.
The trial judge ruled that
"The Court finds that Defendant's conduct was malicious in that he intentionally disclosed the tape to the national media in an attempt to politically harm the participants through an invasion of their privacy." (emphasis added)In earlier settlement discussions, Boehner had offered to settle the matter for $10,000 and an apology. McDermott refused, apparently deciding that playing the politics of personal destruction, popular at the time, was more fun.
Proving once again that our money is not safe with people like "Baghdad Jim" McDermott making decisions.
H/T to The Volokh Conspiracy
Update: The Court's ruling is here.