McKinney Case Going to Grand Jury

Cynthia McKinney’s assualt of a Capitol Police officer is now going to be investigated by a federal grand jury. AP’s Mark Sherman attributes his report to “a lawyer familiar with the case.”

If nothing else, it’s going to be colorful (no pun intended, although this case is going to be rife with opportunities for double entendre):

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who on Tuesday abandoned his re-election bid under a cloud of ethics charges, weighed in on Wednesday, saying McKinney, who is black, “is a racist.” The officer she allegedly struck is white. “She has a long history of racism,” DeLay, R-Texas, said on Fox News Channel. “Everything is racism with her. This is incredible arrogance that sometimes hits these members of Congress, but especially Cynthia McKinney.”

U.S. Capitol Police Chief Terrance Gainer said McKinney turned the officer’s failure to recognize her into a criminal matter when she failed to stop at his request, and then struck him. “He reached out and grabbed her and she turned around and hit him,” Gainer said on CNN. “Even the high and the haughty should be able to stop and say, ‘I’m a congressman’ and then everybody moves on.”

McKinney wasn’t backing down. She charged anew that racism is behind what she said is a pattern of difficulty in clearing Hill security checkpoints. “This has become much ado about hairdo,” she said Wednesday on CBS’ “The Early Show.” McKinney recently dropped her trademark cornrows in favor of a curly brown afro.

Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., gives a thumb-up during a news conference in Atlanta, in this Monday, April 3, 2006 file photo. When she returned to Congress in 2004, McKinney's friends and foes said they saw a quieter, more amiable version of the lawmaker who once suggested the Bush White House had prior knowledge of the Sept. 11 attacks. But as she aggressively defends her scuffle with a Capitol police officer, they say the makeover didn't last long. (AP Photo/W.A. Harewood)

Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas Photo 2Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas Photo 1Eddie Murphy as Buckwheat Photo

Any similarity to Buckwheat is purely coincidental.

Republicans, meanwhile, presented a resolution commending Capitol police for professionalism toward members of Congress and visitors, even though they “endure physical and verbal assaults in some extreme cases.” “I don’t think it’s fair to attack the Capitol Police and I think it’s time that we show our support for them,” said Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., a sponsor of the measure.

Ah, the sweet opportunism of politics.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Poly says:

    When DeLay says:

    “This is incredible arrogance that sometimes hits these members of Congress, but especially Cynthia McKinney.”

    I wonder what He means by ‘these’.
    Is he implying ‘Dems’, or ‘African-Americans’ ?

  2. McGehee says:

    Er, I took it to mean, all members of Congress.

    But then, I wasn’t looking for a reason to take offense.

  3. Poly says:

    I wasn’t looking for offense either.
    My point is that if you can find racism like C McKinney can, you can find it just about anyplac if you look hard enough.