The Washington Post has quite a hit job on Michael Steele on the front page this morning, with an above-the-fold story alleging he violated a number of campaign-finance rules. Despite the purple language and frothy allegations of the story, my in-house (literally) campaign-finance expert says it is far from clear that Steele actually violated any of the increasingly arcane and impossible-to-explain federal campaign finance laws, but of course as we all know it’s the appearance of impropriety that counts for Republicans.
Not until you reach well down on the jump page do you learn this interesting little detail: “The U.S. attorney’s office inadvertently sent the confidential document, a defense sentencing memorandum filed under seal, to The Washington Post after the newspaper requested the prosecution’s sentencing memorandum.” Inadvertently sent what was supposed to be a sealed document to the Post? Yeah, sure, and the Post will sell you the Brooklyn Bridge real cheap, too.
Is anyone in the U.S. Attorney’s office going to lose their job over this? Will the Obama DOJ launch an investigation to make sure this wasn’t politically motivated? What would the Post and others have said if this had happened to, say, Howard Dean, during the Bush administration?