Florida is known for its colorful characters and even more colorful scandals. That’s why Dave Barry practically patented the phrase “I swear I’m not making this up” while writing columns for the Miami Herald. From former governor Lawton Chiles, who used to run around wearing a coonskin cap, to Anna Nicole Smith, who went on her last bender in a Hollywood hotel room, the Sunshine State has regurgitated its share of weird on the rest of the country–so much that Florida Man has become its own Twitter meme, and regularly produces such headlines as, “Murder suspect who used big-penis defense found not guilty.”
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, she of the voice that would make fingernails on a chalkboard sound warm and seductive, seems determined to carry on that tradition. In 2016, while chairman of the Democrat National Committee, Wasserman Schultz got busted tipping the scales in the 2016 presidential primary, freezing out populist poster boy Bernie Sanders and sewing up the nomination for her pal Hillary Clinton. Voters–who thought that their votes actually counted–didn’t appreciate this display of grrrrl power, which compelled the DNC to show Wasserman Schultz the door. For some reason, though, this didn’t seem to matter much to the voters in her district, who sent her back to Congress where she sits on one of those subcommittees that decides how much money the House of Representatives spends on things like the Capitol Hill Police.
But that wasn’t enough scandal by Florida standards, so Wasserman Schultz has upped the ante by making veiled threats against the chief of that very same Capitol Hill Police. No, this wasn’t one of those Cynthia McKinney things where she tried to smack an officer with her cell phone. It was actually much more serious than that, and involved a laptop that the Capitol Cops seized as part of an investigation into the shady practices of an IT consultant may have improperly billed certain Democrats–Wasserman Schultz among them–millions of dollars for services not actually rendered. Strangely enough, these Democrats don’t seem terribly concerned about getting took, even though their fleecers have fled to Pakistan with all the money. In fact, they seem rather anxious to close the books on the investigation and move on.
Which brings us to the aforementioned laptop. It was found, stuffed in a crevice at one of the congressional office buildings, obviously in the hopes that it wouldn’t be discovered. Wasserman Schultz says that the laptop is hers, and that she wants it back. In fact, she wants it back real bad–bad enough to start pushing hard:
“My understanding is the the Capitol Police is not able to confiscate Members’ equipment when the Member is not under investigation,” Wasserman Schultz said in the annual police budget hearing of the House Committee On Appropriations’ Legislative Branch Subcommittee.
“We can’t return the equipment,” Police Chief Matthew R. Verderosa told the Florida Democrat.
“I think you’re violating the rules when you conduct your business that way and you should expect that there will be consequences,” Wasserman Schultz said.
And what “consequences” might those be? If I didn’t know better, I’d say Wasserman Schultz was implying that she might use her position to take a machete to the chief’s budget. That, or she’ll start singing “I Will Always Love You” if she doesn’t get her way.
So what’s so important about that laptop, Debbie?
Like the ending of The Usual Suspects, that’s the real question, isn’t it? Could be that Wasserman Schultz just has some embarrassing pictures from the last ComiCon on there that she’d rather not have people see–but given her own rather checkered history, it’s very possible that something far more damaging might be lurking on the hard drive. Chris Queen has already written here about concerns that the former consultants may have been blackmailing Democrat house members. Could it be that they also had something on Wasserman Schultz, and that the very information they used to extort her in on that laptop?
It would certainly explain why House Democrats are anxious to make the investigation go away–and why Wasserman Schultz would so brazenly threaten a police chief.
It’s funny how all this has escaped the attention of the mainstream media, though. I mean, when Donald Trump supposedly told James Comey that he hoped the FBI director could let the investigation of Michael Flynn go, it was all over the news–even though that account has yet to be verified. Here, Debbie Wasserman Schultz is caught on camera trying to influence the course of a criminal inquiry, and there’s nary a peep from CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post.
It’s almost like there’s a double standard at work.