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Grand Jury to Hear McKinney Case


The US Attorney's office convened a grand jury to hear the case against Cynthia McKinney.

WASHINGTON -- The federal prosecutor investigating the confrontation between Rep. Cynthia McKinney of Georgia and a Capitol Hill police officer last week has asked a grand jury to decide whether the six-term congresswoman should be charged with assault, police and legal authorities said Wednesday.

It's not uncommon for a federal prosecutor to refer a case involving a prominent person to a grand jury to help blunt any appearance of political favoritism. Outside legal experts said the move also could indicate that U.S. Attorney Ken Wainstein's office intends to seek felony charges against McKinney.

"As a practical matter, prosecutors don't go to grand juries for a misdemeanor," said Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University.

The prosecutor's office was expected to call at least three eyewitnesses to testify before the grand jury about the scuffle that occurred last Wednesday when a police officer, not recognizing McKinney as a member of Congress, stopped her from skirting a security checkpoint, as congressmen are allowed to do, according to police and legal authorities.

McKinney was in Washington Wednesday with her lawyer, Michael Raffauf, but neither Raffauf nor an office spokesman returned phone calls and emails seeking comment.

Capitol Hill police turned the investigation over to the federal prosecutor on Monday. Wainstein's office said earlier that he could decide by the end of the week whether to press charges against McKinney -- from assaulting a police officer, a felony, down to simple assault, a misdemeanor. Police and legal authorities said a grand jury could still make that deadline.

Testimony starts as early as Thursday:

(CNN) -- No more he-grabbed-she-slapped -- whether U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney should be charged over a confrontation with Capitol Police last week will be decided by a grand jury, perhaps as soon as next week, said federal law enforcement sources familiar with the case.

Federal prosecutors have decided to present the case, and the grand jury will begin hearing testimony Thursday, the two sources said.

Senior congressional sources said that two House staff members -- Troy Phillips, an aide to Rep. Sam Farr, D-California, and Lisa Subrize, executive assistant to Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Michigan -- have been subpoenaed to testify.

Good. I hope she's indicted and prosecuted.

Update: Cynthia Tucker, editorial page editor for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, weighs in:

There is a lot of bad news in black America. After a decade of rising affluence, poverty is on the upswing. Marriage is out of fashion, but diabetes, hypertension and heart failure are not. We die sooner than whites. And black men remain disproportionately shut out of the mainstream -- unemployed, on drugs, in prison.

So if black activists and political leaders are looking for matters crying out for redress or reform or fairness, I could give them a list. Cynthia McKinney's complaints would not be on it.

If you're going to call a press conference and muster such prominent supporters as Harry Belafonte and Danny Glover, you ought to be sure the issue is important enough to command national attention. You should save that sort of clarion call for the most serious matters -- renewing the Voting Rights Act or raising the minimum wage so that more black men can support their children. The precious spotlight of national news coverage should not be wasted on a spoiled and demanding congresswoman who thinks she's the Soul Queen of Capitol Hill.


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Comments (13)

I've yet to see someone pla... (Below threshold)

I've yet to see someone play the race card and have it come back to bite them in the ass, here's hoping this will be a first.

And starting tomarrow the C... (Below threshold)
L8R G8R:

And starting tomarrow the Capital Hill police should no longer accept those damn pins as a "look at me I'm important" pass.

DC politico "But I'm wearing my pin, let me get by"
DC policeman/woman "Sir would you kindly take the pin turn it sideways and shove it up your ass! No go wait in line like the rest of the quote unquote peons."

tomorrow :( ... (Below threshold)
L8R G8R:

tomorrow :(

Maybe they should turn all... (Below threshold)

Maybe they should turn all their pins into the capitol police and let them play Pin The Tail On the Bigot..
In this case Ms UnSkinny

:{ in to... (Below threshold)

:{ in to

Dont it sound a bit like AN... (Below threshold)
Eon the terrible:

Dont it sound a bit like ANIMAL FARM? some are ceated equial but some are more equial then others

D.C. is Injun Country. The ... (Below threshold)

D.C. is Injun Country. The Republicans are two buffalo hunters camping out under the stars. The Dems and the Atlanta paper are the cicadas. And they've just gone quiet. (not... a... sound...)

a) If Cynthia McK were trul... (Below threshold)

a) If Cynthia McK were truly representative of Black women, it comes as no surprise most Black women are not married. (see concerns of Cynthia Tucker in the full editorial)

b) I believe that Cynthia Tucker pwned Cynthia McKinney and any of her supporters in her editorial. I would not expect to have to wait another 17 years to hear her chirp about this again. How about 24 hours?

c) If bryanD has an accurate metaphor going, I expect the cavalry to swoop down and massacre the Injun's any second, or at least retire them. And while most of the MSM could be represented by cicadas about to be trampled into mush, I think the Atlanta Paper won't be.

Kim, you left out the best ... (Below threshold)

Kim, you left out the best paragraph, all in parenthesis, in the piece by Tucker:

(Now, I can understand McKinney's frustration over the fact that she is often unrecognized. I share that frustration. More times than I can count, I've been mistaken for McKinney, criticized for things she said or given advice about my braids. In fact, while McKinney wore braids until recently, I haven't worn them since 6th grade. Still, I've never slapped or slugged anyone who confused me with her. Come to think of it, maybe I should have.)

So if black activists an... (Below threshold)

So if black activists and political leaders are looking for matters crying out for redress or reform or fairness, I could give them a list. Cynthia McKinney's complaints would not be on it.

This bothers me a bit, because at its root is the "we vs. they" mentality that is part and parcel of McKinney's racist political playbook. I'd like to know what Tucker would have "prominent black leaders" say in her ideal press conference. Would it be more demands from the government for entitlement programs, quotas, EEOC, etc? Or would she want them to take Cosby's advice and tell black Americans to take their future into their own hands and (for starters) stop acting like people like McKinney.

I think her article answers the question:

You should save that sort of clarion call for the most serious matters -- renewing the Voting Rights Act or raising the minimum wage so that more black men can support their children...


Racism is a shadow of its former self, but it lives yet. You see it in the high rates of harsh discipline meted out to black boys in public schools. You can also see it in the disproportionate numbers of black men sent to prison for crimes they didn't commit.[Emphasis mine. This is a very serious matter and deserved more than passing mention in a column. Does Tucker know the names of such men? What is being done about their plight? Are the police who arrested them, the DAs who prosecuted them, and judges who sentenced them being held accountable?]

Certainly, the legacy of racism is alive and well. You can see it in the self-destructive behavior of so many young black men -- the internecine violence, the distorted self-esteem, the worship of thug culture. You can see the legacy of racism in the enduring rates of poverty and poor health among black citizens.

Is it too much of a stretch to wonder if McKinney's "altercation" with the police isn't a result of the "legacy of racism"? That's certainly along the lines of what McKinney and her supporters claim, isn't it? So, is there REALLY that much difference between what Tucker wants... and what McKinney wants?

Who cares about this stupid... (Below threshold)

Who cares about this stupid braid thing. What kind of security measure is that... Oh, well not that I am wearing braids in my hair I will be recognized a a member of congress. DUMB. That's why they wear that pin. It's harder for people to replicate then a weave. Honestly, the who letting members by the medal detectors is crap. The should walk through like everyone else. What's to stop a member from going off the deep end and killing folks. Did you know that in the history of congress there have been stabbings of members by other members? Anyway, she is a loon and it really bothers me that she has this attitude and she can maintain it by calling everyone that crosses her a racist. It's like the witch trials. Everyone would stay away from those kids because they feared being called a witch. How about being scared to cross U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy out of fear of being called a communist.


Right on Joe T... (Below threshold)

Right on Joe
They should all have to walk thru the detectors,big deal !takes no longer than going around it ..this elitism stuff has got to end, like You were saying whats to stop some terrorist cell from holding a congress persons family hostage and threatening to kill them if they dont walk into the capitol and carry in some devious weapon ,explosive or chemical .who knows what?

This is a silly profitless ... (Below threshold)

This is a silly profitless waste of time. is anyone familiar with the legislation McKinny has authored, the initiatives both domestic and international she supports? spend the time educating yourself about those things and (1) you might realize just what is happening in this country, world and (2) you might get off your ass and do something to stop it instead wasting energy bitching about someone who is. i don't give a shit whether anyone wears a pin, doesnt wear a pin. pin it on your ass if you wanna. who cares? i want my voice, taxpayer $$$, vote to be acknowledged, respected, to be spent in a way that reflects me, this community; i don't give a flying fuck about a metal detector. we need to WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!






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