I say that Rahm Emanuel (D, IL-5) is lying about his prior knowledge of Tim Mahoney's (D, FL-16) crime.

I’m sorry, but I’m not a Democrat: the mushroom treatment doesn’t work on me. So when a Democratic politician attempts to lie his way out of trouble, I get peeved.

Let’s walk through this. Gateway Pundit reported last month that Tim Mahoney (D, FL-16) was involved in a sex scandal in which he paid off a former mistress, allegedly using campaign funds. That is, by the way, firmly in “people go to jail” territory.

With me so far? Good. Mahoney’s staffers are claiming that Rep. Emanuel and other Democratic leaders have been involved in attempts to cover up Mahoney’s little escapade:

Senior Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives, including Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), the chair of the Democratic Caucus, have been working with Mahoney to keep the matter from hurting his re-election campaign, the Mahoney staffers said.

A spokesperson for Emanuel denies that account, but said Emanuel did confront Mahoney “upon hearing a rumor” about an affair in 2007 and “told him he was in public life and had a responsibility to act accordingly.” The spokesperson added that it was a “private conversation” that had nothing to do with Mahoney’s re-election prospects.

Emanuel’s spokesperson said Emanual had not had any further contacts with Mahoney on the subject and did not know the woman involved worked on Mahoney’s Congressional staff until informed by ABC News.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi likewise claims that she has just now heard about all of this, and is shocked, shocked! wants an investigation. In other words, Mahoney gets to be thrown to the wolves, if they can manage it.

Just one small problem with that, and his name is Representative Chris Van Hollen (D, MD-08):

Van Hollen, head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, heard rumors about Mahoney only last month, a spokeswoman said.

“After a rumor recently surfaced on a blog about Mr. Mahoney’s affair, the Chairman spoke briefly once with Mr. Mahoney about his responsibility as an elected official to act appropriately and urged him to come clean with his constituents if there was any truth to the rumor,” DCCC spokesoman Jennifer Crider said.

Gateway Pundit is counting coup on this one, and he has a certain logic on his side; he’s the blogger that’s been covering this particular scandal most. Even if he wasn’t the one that Van Hollen read, it insults everyone’s intelligence to suggest that the head of the DCCC would read a solid story on a felonious sex scandal involving one of his freshmen Congressmen… and then completely neglect to mention this minor problem to either the head of the Democratic Caucus or the Democratic Speaker of the House for the next month. This isn’t a “regular” affair, which might lead one to make the argument that it’s essentially a private matter. Money changed hands. Anything involving money in political situations automatically becomes a public matter. And – aside from everything else – from a practical standpoint the Democrats need to find out if any of that money was theirs to begin with.

Then again, perhaps they already know the answer. And while I think that they knew all along, heck: a month is as good as a year in this case.

Moe Lane

PS: Tom Rooney. For that matter, the NRCC.