Rep. Dale Kildee (D, MI-05) accused of child molestation.

This is going to be one of the messy ones.

The basic details: Rep. Kildee – who is in his eighties, and who announced earlier this year that he is not running for re-election – is being accused by family members of sexually molesting his second cousin fifty years ago.  The alleged victim was twelve at the time; Kildee would have been in his thirties at the time of the alleged molestation.  Additional wrinkles: Rep. Kildee happened to chair (from 2007 to 2011) the House’s old Page Program – which was unexpectedly (and determinedly) shut down this year.  And it’s alleged that both Kildee’s retirement, and the termination of the House Page program, are in response to an ethics complaint based on the charges and made against Rep. Kildee by Michigan Christian radio station president Jon Yinger.

Rep. Kildee is vehemently, and I mean vehemently, disputing the charges and accusing his accusers (and the GOP, of course) of cooking this scheme up to both blackmail and go after him.  Why the Republican party would target a retiring Democratic Congressman like this simply to pick up a vacant seat was not really explained.  I’d also like to note for the record that Rep. Kildee’s suggestion that these allegations were made in the last election does not jibe with either my memory (I believe that I would have remembered it if a Democratic Congressman was accused of raping a twelve year old boy)  or, apparently, that of local Michigan reporters.  Contrast this with the fact that these allegations are a half century old, and we have a very tangled problem.

So, did Rep. Kildee do it?  I don’t know,  and absent further information it’s not really seemly to even speculate too broadly.  But one thing is clear: Congress honestly has no choice but to investigate the former House Page program and check up on the participants in it.  For the last few decades.

Moe Lane (crosspost)