Beltway Confidential

Reid: Romney is guilty until proven innocent, but Dem Senate candidate gets a pass

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Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., believes that Mitt Romney should be regarded as guilty of tax fraud until he proves otherwise, but he has given a pass to a Democratic colleague under investigation by the House Ethics Committee.

“I don’t think the burden should be on me,” Reid told reporters when pressed about his accusation that Romney didn't pay taxes for 10 years. “The burden should be on him. He’s the one I’ve alleged has not paid any taxes."

Reid's presumption of guilt theory stops at the party line, though. The National Republican Senatorial Committee jumped on the inconsistency. "Given Reid's belief that one is guilty until proven innocent, then according to his logic he must believe Congresswoman Shelley Berkeley is guilty of using her office to enrich herself," said NRSC spokesman Jahan Wilcox.



Wilcox was referring to Reid's steadfast support for Berkeley -- a candidate for U.S. Senate -- in the face of charge that she used her position as a Member of Congress to prevented the closure of a hospital that had a contract with her husband. The move has provoked an investigation by the House Ethics Committee.

"I'm very, very optimistic and convinced that once there is a full and fair investigation that there will be no question in anybody's mind that my only concern was for the health and well-being of the people of Nevada," she told reporters on July 9th.

That denial is good enough for Reid, if not the Democrats on the Ethics Committee.  “I think this is going to be fine for Shelley,” he said earlier this month. “She’s a terrific candidate, she is a person who has always fought for Nevadans, and certainly she should fight for these people who are sick and in danger of dying.”

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