Doolittle - The Truth Might Mean Jail
At the heart of the Press Tribune's plea to Doolittle is his secret hiring of a high priced Washington lawyer, David Barger, to advise him as to how to deal with questions regarding Doolittle's close association with convicted felon Jack Abramoff.
While it's not uncommon for someone involved in such rumors and innuendo to seek help in dealing with controversy, Doolittle's choice of help can be viewed as intriguing if nothing else.The Press Tribune suggests that instead of hiring a lawyer, if Doolittle is as innocent as he maintains, there is an alternate course.
Barger is the former president of the Virginia Bar Association's criminal law section and a former assistant U.S. attorney who later was an associate of special prosecutor Kenneth Starr in the Whitewater investigation during the Clinton administration.
The goal of the media is to publish the news and the truth. And what better place to get the truth than straight from the horse's mouth? If there's nothing to hide, then why all the secrecy? Why not publicly release all information proving his innocence? Why not publicly announce the January hiring of Barger at the time?
There may be nothing worse in politics than guilt by association. It's not pretty, and it's not always fair, but unless there is irrefutable proof to the contrary, the rumors will continue to swirl not only in
, but in Washington, D.C. Northern Californiaamong Doolittle's supporters and detractors.
Doolittle has publicly pledged to "fight to ensure that the truth in these matters prevails." There's an old cliché that an innocent man will shout his innocence from the rooftops. What better way to do that than to talk, openly and honestly? Which brings to mind another cliché:
"The truth shall set you free."
The problem that John Doolittle faces may be a bit more complex. For Doolittle, telling the truth may in the words of the 5th Amendment, force Doolittle "to be a witness against himself."
In Doolittle's case, the truth just might put him in jail.