Idaho Rep. Priscilla Giddings demonstrates the unbecoming conduct she’s accused of
When MP Priscilla Giddings tried to convince members of the House Ethics Committee that she was not engaging in behavior that was inappropriate for a lawmaker, her testimony and behavior on Monday did her a disservice.
By insulting, covering up, splitting hair, and evading answers to simple, direct questions, Giddings is hurting her own case.
Scott McIntosh is the opinion editor of the Idaho Statesman.
Her supporters could call Giddings' answers "defiant", but to sane people they were only condescending and evasive and only served to prove the case against them.
Giddings, R-White Bird, shared a post from Redoubt News on her social media and official house email newsletter that included the identity and photo of a woman accusing the then rep. Aaron von Ehlinger for sexual assault.
She is also accused of having made misleading statements against von Ehlinger during an ethics committee investigation. When asked on April 28 whether she posted a photo or the prosecutor's identity, she testified on oath that she did not do so.
Although the evidence is clear that Giddings shared the website post identifying the accuser and containing her photo, Giddings repeatedly evaded the question.
"Are you aware that the picture and name of Jane Doe was posted in this article?" Ethics Committee attorney Christopher McCurdy asked Giddings.
“You ask me if I know that it was like that? Because it no longer has it. So what's your question? ”Giddings responded.
So he tried again, even more simply: "Did this article have the picture and name of Jane Doe?"
“I don't know, because the way I - let's see - a few hours earlier, the ethics committee requested for the first time to conceal their identity. And it is, I say, I was made aware that the article concealed their identity as soon as it was publicly requested, so I made those statements hours after the committee prompted me to suspect that, no if I made the statement, she - except, I think maybe Rep Gannon or Crane called it up on their computer while I was speaking, and I think that just fades from my mind, so I think Redoubt News, but I do don't know, I'm not your editor. "
The short version of this answer should have been "Yes".
Giddings joked about how a Facebook post looks on different devices, whether it linked to or linked to the article, even with the definition of "write".
“If you look there is a post that says, 'Follow the money, exclamation point. Idaho's very own Kavanaugh, ”McCurdy pointed out to Giddings’ post. "Did you write that line?"
"I typed it into my Android phone," said Giddings. "I didn't write it."
It was a breathtaking moment of hubris, reminiscent of President Bill Clinton's appearance on the Monica Lewinsky episode when he said, "It depends on what the word 'is' means."
Giddings had other moments of concealment and outright hostility, but the climax of all came when she repeatedly refused to respond if she'd been asked on Jan.
When McCurdy asked her a simple yes or no, her answer was, "Where did you go to law school?"
And it seems that every time someone on the right is confronted for some bad, nefarious behavior, the response, as Giddings said Monday, is that it is just "waking up the social justice mob rule" and " the culture breaks off ”. Remember, they used the same defense from Ehlinger when he was accused of sexual assault.
I suppose that's the kind of thing their supporters want to see, as evidenced by the applause Giddings received from some of the viewers.
But I think most of us would identify more with Rep. Julie Yamamoto, R-Caldwell, one of the complainants who testified on Monday.
"Even if it is a fellow believer in Christ, we must adhere to a higher standard that says we will tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth," Yamamoto said when he testified on Monday. "And that, while we can do something, doesn't necessarily mean it's prudent and right."
In response to repeated inquiries, Yamamoto said that if Giddings had simply admitted that she had made a mistake, she would have withdrawn her name from the complaint and forgave Giddings.
"I believe in repentance," said Yamamoto. “I believe in salvation. I believe that when someone has made a mistake like all of us, they have a loving God who is more than willing to forgive us of our sins. But we have to be willing to admit that if we made a wrong decision, if we made a mistake, and if it is yours and you ask for forgiveness, then who are we not forgiven? We should forgive. "
Unfortunately, the person who needed to hear Yamamoto's words most urgently - Giddings - was absent from the chambers and childishly refused to attend the trial.
Scott McIntosh is the opinion editor of the Idaho Statesman. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 208-377-6202. Follow him on Twitter @ ScottMcIntosh12.
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