Key House Democrat: “There Are No Rules Here … We Make Them Up As We Go Along”
Charitably, can we chalk that up to being unable to express oneself clearly? On the other hand . . .
Carter made him a federal judge in 1979. Two years later he
was charged with accepting a $150,000 bribe in exchange for a lenient sentence and a return of seized assets for 21 counts of racketeering by Frank and Thomas Romano, and of perjury in his testimony about the case. He was acquitted by a jury after his alleged co-conspirator, William Borders, refused to testify in court (resulting in a jail sentence for Borders).
He wasn’t off the hook yet:
In 1988, the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives took up the case, and Hastings was impeached for bribery and perjury by a vote of 413-3. He was then convicted in 1989 by the United States Senate, becoming the sixth federal judge in the history of the United States to be removed from office by the Senate. The vote on the first article was 69 for and 26 opposed, providing five votes more than the two-thirds of those present that were needed to convict. The first article accused the judge of conspiracy. Conviction on any single article was enough to remove the judge from office. The Senate vote cut across party lines, with U.S. Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont voting to convict his fellow party member, and U.S. Senator Arlen Specter voting to acquit.
It could have been worse for him:
The Senate had the option to forbid Hastings from ever seeking federal office again, but did not do so. Alleged co-conspirator, attorney William Borders went to jail again for refusing to testify in the impeachment proceedings, but was later given a full pardon by President Bill Clinton on his last day in office.
But not for his buddy Borders.