File:Trey Radel, Official Portrait, 113th Congress.jpg

Trey Radel

Congressman Trey Radel, who bought drugs off an undercover DEA agent and was given probation, is facing a formal investigation by the House Ethics Committee. Rather than resigning after pleading guilty to breaking the law, Radel is now in rehab leaving his staff to run his congressional offices. The Ethics Committee notes the cocaine possession charge in its statement.

The investigative subcommittee, according to the statement, “shall have jurisdiction to determine whether [Radel] violated the Code of Official Conduct or any law, rule, regulation, or other applicable standard of conduct in the performance of his duties or the discharge of his responsibilities, with respect to conduct forming the basis for criminal charges of possession of Cocaine in the District of Columbia, to which Representative Radel pled guilty on November 20, 2013.”

Is there more? Do they even need more? Cocaine possession is against the law and despite Radel’s light sentence a rather serious offense. Try to think of a job that  getting arrested for cocaine possession would not get you fired from.

But this is all routine, anytime a member of the House is indicted or charged there is an automatic review and according to some sources Radel is likely to skate by.

… an Ethics Committee member, who spoke to CQ Roll Call last month on background because committee members are not permitted to comment on matters that could come before the panel, said the most likely outcome would be for the panel to concur with the court actions taken against Radel and offer no further repercussions.

Provided all the investigation turns up is Radel’s love for nose candy. Who knows what else he is into?

Ultimately it appears, thanks to Radel’s lack of shame, it will have to be the people of his district who fire him. Then again, maybe he can turn it all around and make his flouting of the law and illegal party lifestyle an inspiring Hallmark story of redemption. Hey, David Vitter is still a Senator. It could all still work out.

Now would be a good time to ponder what would have happened to Radel had he not been a white congressman.