May 04, 2006

At Least The Car Stayed Dry

Drudge is running a flash that Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), son of Sen. Ted Kennedy, make be part of a suspected drunk-driving crash and cover-up involving the Capital Police:

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.

ROLL CALL [note: my link-ed.] reports: 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.”

A source tells the DRUDGE REPORT: It was apparent that the driver was intoxicated (stumbling) and claimed he was in a hurry to make a vote. When it became apparent who it was instead of processing a normal DWI the watch commander had the Patrol units clear the scene and allowed the other building officials drive Kennedy home.

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


Unlike some Drudge stories, this might have some meat to it, as MSM sources are corroborating that Kennedy was involved in a 3:00 am wreck, and that the responding officers were not allowed to perform field sobriety tests. has more details:

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.

No one was hurt, but there are reports that the car nearly struck a Capitol police cruiser and that it had been swerving, as if trying to make a U-turn.

So far, Kennedy HAS NOT been charged. The congressman released a statement Thursday night saying alcohol was NOT involved.

"I was involved in a traffic accident last night at ... the U.S. Capitol. I consumed no alcohol prior to the incident and I will fully cooperate with Capitol Police in whatever investigation they choose to undertake," he said.

The Capitol Hill Fraternal Order of Police is calling for higher-ups in the department to allow patrol officers to complete their investigation.

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.”

Capitol police Officer Greg Baird wrote a letter to acting Chief Christopher McGaffin saying how the investigation was handled calls the department's integrity into question.

According to, Baird -- acting chairman of the Capitol Police Fraternal Order of Police –- said Kennedy's Mustang had its lights off when it narrowly missed crashing into a police cruiser and smashed into a security barrier at 1st and C streets Southeast about 2:45 a.m.

According to sources, Kennedy told police that he was late for a Congressional vote. But the House had adjourned more than three hours earlier, sources said.

According to Roll Call, Baird wrote in his letter that the driver got out and “was observed to be staggering.” He told officers he was a congressman late for a vote. Baird wrote that patrol officers at the scene were prohibited from performing field sobriety tests. Then two sergeants arrived, conferred with a watch commander and “ordered all of the patrol division units to leave the scene … that they were taking over.”

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.

First off, and very seriously, I'm glad no one was hurt. A late model (2005) Ford Mustang weighs 3,351 lbs, and traveling through the dark with its lights off in the dark is a recipe for disaster. My second thought was, of course, thankfulness that Kennedy wasn't near the Inlet Bridge over the Tidal Basin, or things could have ended far more tragically.

This case could bode very poorly for the Kennedy clan and the Capital Police as well if there is any evidence at all of a cover-up. Odds are than any questionable involvement by either Patrick Kennedy or his father Ted—if indeed there was any—can and probably would disappear faster than a bottle of Maker's Mark down Ted's fleshy gullet. The Capitol Police watch commander and other senior officers seem somewhat more likely to take any fall here.

Capitol Police Officer Greg Baird seems to be a good cop trying to shine light on a shady situation. He felt strongly enough about the interference in his investigation that he went against his superiors when he felt they were wrong. That takes guts, and integrity.

It will be very interesting to see how—and if—this case proceeds.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at May 4, 2006 05:47 PM | TrackBack

Sounds like Chappaquiddick without anybody hurt...

Posted by: ElJefeMaximo at May 4, 2006 06:49 PM

Let's see if this brave officer who came forward is shielded as a 'whistleblower' and 'patriotic American' by the Left.

Posted by: KMan at May 4, 2006 07:07 PM

It may be hard to pin down exactly where Kennedy had been prior to the car crash. (there is no such thing as a car accident) The left wing is so filled with liars, what, when and where will be difficult to determine, but someone should give it a good old boy try. Sick Rush Limbaugh on him since the left tried to crucify him over prescription drugs, and Kennedy tried to blame the crash on 'prescription' drugs. Rush was neither an elected official nor endangering the lives of the public when he was charged. What a tangled web the left has spun for themselves. Everything the do comes back and bites them on the A**.

Posted by: Scrapiron at May 5, 2006 12:32 AM

The more I see of that family, the less I like. And I didn't like much from the start.

Posted by: Retired Navy at May 5, 2006 05:12 AM

WASHINGTON -U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy insisted yesterday that he had consumed “no alcohol” before he slammed his Mustang convertible into a concrete barrier near his office, but a hostess at a popular Capitol Hill watering hole told the Herald she saw him drinking in the hours before the crash.

“He was drinking a little bit,” said the woman, who works at the Hawk & Dove and would not give her name.

Posted by: Buddy at May 5, 2006 07:44 AM

I don't blame her for not giving her name, Teddy would probably offer her a ride.

Posted by: Retired Navy at May 5, 2006 09:08 AM

The "late for a vote" routine is why they didn't give him a sobriety test. Article I Section 6 of the US Constitution says "Representatives shall privileged from Arrest during their Attendence at the Session ... and in going to and returning from the same". We have the same provision in the Georgia Constitution (it is supposed to prevent arrest by opposing political hacks influencing votes), and recently had a case where a state judge threw that defense out because of what time it was.
I think Kennedy had heard about that and used the "late for a vote" for the reason that (if he actually has read the Constitution instead of just watching it burn at Kennedy Coven Meetings) the "returning from" part might not be as familiar to junior officers and getting it on the record that he was impaired might be embarrassing to the boy.
BTW, doesn't DC have a "under the influence" statute? Here, prescriptions are included under the heading of influence.

Posted by: Richard at May 5, 2006 09:10 AM