Virginia Republican Congressman Morgan Griffith is accusing the Justice Department of playing partisan politics by investigating a resignation that tilted power in the Virginia Senate.
When Democrat Phillip P. Puckett resigned from the state Senate it gave Republicans a one vote majority in the middle of the heated budget standoff in Richmond. That smells fishy to Justice Department officials who are investigating whether he was bribed by a job offer from Republicans who wanted to tilt control of state Senate. But Congressman Griffith says it’s the DOJ probe that smells fishy.
“I don’t think it’s criminal, but you can make an argument it’s not proper. I think that’s for the electorate to decide. But if you make that argument you’ve got apply the same rules across the board. That’s not happening here.”
Griffith sent a three page letter to the DOJ outlining why he questions their probe into Puckett’s resignation. He says Puckett’s not the only person to resign and send ripple effects through a legislative chamber.
“And if it’s wrong and if it’s criminal, then the FBI - if that’s their position - ought to be investigating the two sitting senators in Virginia, the president of the United States and former Governor Gilmore and, I would submit to you, lots of other people who have done exactly the same thing.”
Puckett claims he resigned in order to allow his daughter Martha Puckett Ketron to become a judge, because a state Senate policy bars the appointments of the relatives of sitting lawmakers.