One odd detail from Hillary Clinton’s “victory” celebration earlier tonight:
On her right as she waved from the stage was Bill Nelson, the state’s Democratic senator. No problem there. On her right: Alcee Hastings, who has the distinction of being only the sixth federal judge in history to be impeached and removed from office. His dismissal in 1989 came eight years after hes was charged with accepting a $150,000 bribe and perjury. He was acquitted in the original court proceedings when his co-conspirator refused to testify. That led Congress, several years later, to take up his impeachment.
Three years after his impeachment, Hastings won his Florida congressional seat, but his ethical baggage has haunted him on Capitol Hill. Last year, the seniority system put him in line to chair the ultra-sensitive House Intelligence Committee. But Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to sign off on his appointment, realizing that it would expose Democrats — who had campaigned against a “culture of corruption” — to charges of hypocrisy. Instead, Pelosi tabbed Silvestre Reyes of Texas (who later failed a reporter’s pop quiz about the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite).