Michael Gaynor
October 5, 2006
Yes to bipartisan polygraphing!
By Michael Gaynor

Democrat House Minority Leader and Speaker aspirant Nancy Pelosi and Representative Rahm Emanuel, Chairman of the House's Democrat Campaign Committee, refused a request by a Republican Congressman to take a polygraph test designed to ascertain whether they knew about now former Republican Congressman Mark Foley's misconduct (perhaps criminal misconduct) with respect to at least one Congressional page before it became public knowledge.

The public should know whether they delayed reporting and/or publicizing Mr. Foley's misconduct for the sake of partisan political advantage.

They could put an end to speculation by taking and passing a polygraph examination conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

NOT doing so encourages speculation, of course.

Of course, each of them has a right against self-incrimination and cannot be compelled to take a polygraph test.

But voters are entitled to take their refusals into account in deciding how they should vote.

On October 1, 2006, Ms. Pelosi issued this press release on news reports that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was opening a preliminary investigation of the sexually explicit e-mails Mr. Foley sent an underage former House Page.

"The FBI is rightly investigating former Republican Congressman Mark Foley's reported internet stalking of an underage former House Page. Mr. Foley is outside the reach of the House Ethics Committee, however the required investigation into the cover up of Mr. Foley's behavior by the Republican Leadership must quickly move forward.

"The children who work as Pages in the Congress are Members' special trust. Statements by the Republican Leadership indicate that they violated this trust when they were made aware of the internet stalking of an underage Page by Mr. Foley and covered it up for six months to a year.

"Congress must not pass the buck on investigating this cover up. The children, their parents, the public, and our colleagues must be assured that such abhorrent behavior is not tolerated and will never happen again."

My position: Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Emanuel each should submit to polygraph testing as to whether they delayed Mr. Foley's day of reckoning, and so should Speaker Dennis Hastert and any Republican Congressman who has nothing to hide and a desire to assure the American people that he (or she) did not cover up or willfully ignore evidence of misconduct.

The polygraph is non-partisan.

FBI Assistant Director Charles Phalen: "There is no more powerful tool in our tool bag" than polygraph tests.

USA Today: "The FBI will give lie-detector tests to hundreds of state and local police officers assigned to terrorism task forces across the country as part of a new effort to battle espionage and unauthorized information leaks."

Is it reasonable to suspect Democrats of timing the Foley scandal for political advantage?

Remember the 2000 Presidential election? Specifically, the dramatic disclosure days before Election Day that President Bush had a driving-while-intoxicated problem?

Was that disclosed as soon as it was discovered or held for release at precisely the time it was released?

If you think the timing coincidental, there is this bridge in Brooklyn that you might want to buy.

Whether a politician will take a polygraph test (or consider the results of a polygraph tests) speaks volumes about the politician.

In the Duke case (also known as the hoax), the Duke Three have all passed polygraph tests and their accuser has NOT been polygraphed. District Attorney Nifong properly said he wanted DNA testing (the Duke Three passed that test too). But, he did not want to consider evidence of innocence and he did not want to polygraph any of the Duke Three or their accuser and watch the case that won him the Democrat district attorney primary in Durham County, North Carolina last May collapse too soon for his purposes.

Of course, none of the Duke Three is a Kennedy. When William Kennedy Smith was accused of rape in Florida, his accuser passed polygraph tests twice before he was prosecuted. Unlike the Duke case, it was not disputed that there had been sexual contact, so DNA testing would have been irrelevant. Mr. Smith was acquitted after trial (and after the Judge ruled three instances of alleged sexual misconduct by Mr. Smith irrelevant), but did Mr. Smith risk a polygraph test?

Politicians should take polygraph tests (if they can pass). So should accusers and accuseds in rape cases (if they can pass).

© Michael Gaynor


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)


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