Notes from the Kakistocracy: Meadows oozing into Chief of Staff position


Yes, the Trump administration can get more incompetent:

When it comes to filling the chief of staff role after the impeachment dust settles, Trump has suggested his first choice remains retiring Rep. Mark Meadows, sources familiar with the talks said. During Thursday's post-acquittal speech, Trump thanked Meadows at length for his support during the impeachment proceedings and called him "an extraordinary guy" and "very special."

Meadows, in turn, was the only other person who spoke during the President's address -- rising from his seat in the audience to praise Trump. "I just wanted to say that this reflection today is a small reflection of the kind of support you have all across the country," Meadows said. "We've got your back."

And there goes my gag reflex. With the prospect of Meadows being in charge of pretty much everybody who works in the White House, now is as good a time as any to remind people of his lack of concern and leadership when his own office was a stalking ground for a serial sexual harasser:

The House Ethics Committee issued a rare letter of reproval on Friday to Representative Mark Meadows, Republican of North Carolina and chairman of the hard-line Freedom Caucus, for mishandling sexual harassment allegations against a top aide, after complaints from six female staff members that his former chief of staff frequently engaged in unwanted touching and stared down their blouses.

The committee faulted Mr. Meadows for failing “to take prompt and decisive action to deal with the alleged sexual harassment” by the aide, Kenny West, who was dismissed from the office in 2015. Although Mr. Meadows banned Mr. West from his Washington office, curtailed his responsibilities and forbade him to contact female employees, he improperly continued to compensate Mr. West for four months until firing him, committee investigators found.

“Representative Meadows could have and should have done more to ensure that his congressional office was free from discrimination or the perception of discrimination,” the committee wrote in its bipartisan report. It ordered Mr. Meadows to reimburse the United States Treasury approximately $40,000 that he paid Mr. West in salary that the committee said was not commensurate with his work.

The report continued a year of reckoning on sexual misconduct that swept out lawmakers and staff members accused of improprieties and cast an unwelcome and unflattering spotlight on Mr. Meadows, an influential conservative. His office did not respond to a request for comment.

It's no coincidence that this committee's action took place a week after Meadows' 2018 Election victory. A controversy that had been brewing for three years already, but gathering dust until it could be handled with minimal damage to the subject of the inquiry.