Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy Protected from Investigation

Updated

patrick-and-ted-kennedy.jpg

Breaking news from Roll Call (subscription required):

Police labor union officials asked acting Chief Christopher McGaffin this afternoon to allow a Capitol Police officer to complete his investigation into an early-morning car crash involving Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.).

According to a letter sent by Officer Greg Baird, acting chairman of the USCP FOP, the wreck took place at approximately 2:45 a.m. Thursday when Kennedy’s car, operating with its running lights turned off, narrowly missed colliding with a Capitol Police cruiser and smashed into a security barricade at First and C streets Southeast.

“The driver exited the vehicle and he was observed to be staggering,” Baird’s letter states. Officers approached the driver, who “declared to them he was a Congressman and was late to a vote. The House had adjourned nearly three hours before this incident. It was Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy from Rhode Island.”

Baird wrote that Capitol Police Patrol Division units, who are trained in driving under the influence cases, were not allowed to perform basic field sobriety tests on the Congressman. Instead, two sergeants, who also responded to the accident, proceeded to confer with the Capitol Police watch commander on duty and then “ordered all of the Patrol Division Units to leave the scene and that they were taking over.”

Baird said he had been advised that after the officers departed, Capitol Police “House Division officials” gave Kennedy a ride home.

Kennedy’s office did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

He said he was going to a vote at 2:45am? He must have really downed quite a few adult beverages if he thought the cops would buy that one. And what is going on with these Democrats thinking that they don’t need to pay the consequences for their behavior?

There’s more at WUSA:

9 News has learned U.S. Capitol police officers are concerned about the handling of an accident involving Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-Rhode Island) about 3 a.m. this morning.

Rep. Kennedy was reportedly behind the wheel of a green Ford Mustang when it crashed into a security barrier at 1st and “C” streets Southeast.

There are no reports of injuries. A Boston TV station is reporting Kennedy told officers he was late for a vote. We are told police drove him home after conferring with higher-ups in the department. So far, Kennedy HAS NOT been charged. A spokesman for his office told CNN that alcohol was NOT involved.

The head of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 1, Lou Cannon, told 9 News that he’s concerned that Kennedy may have received special treatment and this could be a case where “rank has its privilege.”

Cannon also told 9 News that officers noticed the car swerving, looking as if it was going to make a U-turn.

9 News reporter Stacey Cohan spoke to Kennedy’s press secretary at his congressional office in Rhode Island, who said she is looking into the situation, but does not have any information right now.

Congressman Patrick Kennedy is Ted Kennedy’s son. He is currently serving his sixth term as the Democratic Congressman from Rhode Island. He sits on the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

At least no one was hurt when this Kennedy was driving.

Update: Drudge has his siren flashing on this one:

Officers Claim Brass Interfered in Investigation of Rep. Kennedy Incident, ROLL CALL reports.

Police labor union officials asked acting Chief Christopher McGaffin this afternoon to allow a Capitol Police officer to complete his investigation into an early-morning car crash involving Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), son of Sen. Ted Kennedy.

According to a letter sent by Officer Greg Baird, acting chairman of the USCP FOP, the wreck took place at approximately 2:45 a.m. Thursday when Kennedy’s car, operating with its running lights turned off, narrowly missed colliding with a Capitol Police cruiser and smashed into a security barricade at First and C streets Southeast.

A Capitol Police bulletin issued this afternoon stated that the department is investigating a “traffic violation that occurred in the early morning hours on May 4” at that location, ROLL CALL’s John McArdle reports.

“The driver exited the vehicle and he was observed to be staggering,” Baird’s letter states. Officers approached the driver, who “declared to them he was a Congressman and was late to a vote. The House had adjourned nearly three hours before this incident. It was Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy from Rhode Island.”

Baird wrote that Capitol Police Patrol Division units, who are trained in driving under the influence cases, were not allowed to perform basic field sobriety tests on the Congressman. Instead, two sergeants, who also responded to the accident, proceeded to confer with the Capitol Police watch commander on duty and then “ordered all of the Patrol Division Units to leave the scene and that they were taking over.”

This morning’s incident comes just over two weeks after Kennedy was involved in a car accident in Rhode Island.

Was that accident covered up too?

Update II: Here are copies of the police report Kennedy’s previous accident. Hat tip: Michelle

Update III: I guess there’s more than one way for a Kennedy to get hammered.

Update IV: Rep. Kennedy issued a statement in which he said he consumed no alcohol before the accident:

“I was involved in a traffic accident last night at First and C Street SE near the U.S. Capitol,” Kennedy said in a written statement released by his office. “I consumed no alcohol prior to the incident. I will fully cooperate with the Capitol Police in whatever investigation they choose to undertake.”

Kennedy appeared to be intoxicated when he crashed his car into a barrier on Capitol Hill early Thursday morning, said Louis P. Cannon, president of the Washington chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police.

Cannon, who was not there, said the officers involved in the accident were instructed by an official “above the rank of patrolman” to take Kennedy home.

No sobriety tests were conducted at the scene.

I guess we’ll never know because the Capitol police who were on the scene were sent packing before they could administer a sobriety or breathalyzer test. So how does Rep. Kennedy explain the staggering the officers said they witnessed?

Update V: Rep. Kennedy issued a new, longer statement in which he said he was impaired because he took sleep medication:

WASHINGTON – Rep. Patrick Kennedy (news, bio, voting record) crashed his car near the Capitol early Thursday, and a police official said he appeared intoxicated. Kennedy said he had taken sleep medication and a prescription anti-nausea drug that can cause drowsiness.

Kennedy, D-R.I., addressed the issue after a spate of news reports. His initial statement said, “I consumed no alcohol prior to the incident.”

Later, however, he issued a longer statement saying the attending physician for Congress had prescribed Phenergan on Tuesday to treat Kennedy’s gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach and intestines.

Kennedy said he returned to his Capitol Hill home on Wednesday evening after a final series of votes in Congress and took “prescribed” amounts of Phenergan and Ambien, another prescribed drug that he occasionally takes to fall asleep.

“Some time around 2:45 a.m., I drove the few blocks to the Capitol Complex believing I needed to vote,” his second statement said. “Apparently, I was disoriented from the medication.”

I don’t know which is worse: getting sloshed and then driving or deliberately mixing two sleep inducing medications and driving. Either way, this guy should be arrested for driving while stupid.

Update VI: Take a look at the post at Flopping Aces. He lists all the Democrats who have created problems for themselves as well as the recent incidents that Rep. Kennedy has been involved in. Add it all up and we have one out of control Democratic Party.

Update VII: Fausta at BadHairBlog speculates why Rep. Kennedy may have told the police that he was on his way to a vote at 2:45 am:

Late to a vote? One would think that answer showed he was drunk, but he was claiming something else: More like claiming diplomatic Constitutional immunity.

United States Constitution,

Section 6. The Senators and Representatives shall receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the treasury of the United States. They shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same;

Patrick claims he had no alcohol prior to the incident.

And if he did, it sure didn’t affect his memory of the Constitution.

Great catch, Fausta.

Update VIII: Here’s a shot of Kennedy with a drink in hand, and one with a dancing cop

Michelle Malkin, Greg at The Political Pitbull, A Blog for All, and Ace of Spades are following this as well.

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