Rep. McDermott broke the law with taped call

Via the AP:

WASHINGTON β€” A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that Rep. Jim McDermott violated federal law by turning over an illegally taped telephone call to reporters nearly a decade ago.

In a 2-1 opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld a lower court ruling that McDermott violated the rights of Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, who was heard on the 1996 call involving then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga.

The court ordered McDermott to pay Boehner more than $700,000 for leaking the taped conversation. The figure includes $60,000 in damages and at least $600,000 in legal costs.

McDermott, D-Wash., has acknowledged leaking a tape of a 1996 cell phone call involving Gingrich to The New York Times and other news organizations.

The call included discussion by Gingrich and other House GOP leaders about a House ethics committee investigation of Gingrich. Boehner was a Gingrich lieutenant at the time and is now House majority leader.

A lawyer for McDermott had argued that his actions were allowed under the First Amendment, and said a ruling against him would have “a huge chilling effect” on reporters and newsmakers alike.

So let’s see: McDermott supported Sen. Russ Feingold’s call for censuring the President for alleged “illegal” NSA warrantless surveillance/wiretappping authorized by the administration, yet in his mind HIS taping of a private phone call was ok.

Warrantless wiretapping of conversations between suspected terorrists is bad, but taping a private conversation that doesn’t involve you for political gain is good. Got it!

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