U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent has finally resigned after Congress expedited his impeachment and Senate trial. In a remarkably dim-witted act, Kent’s lawyer announced that they had calculated that Congress could not possibly complete an impeachment and start a trial for a year. Thus, he decided that he would resign in a year to continue to bilk the government for salary and benefits. The inevitable result was that an infuriated Congress expedited the process.
If Kent had simply remained quiet and not revealed his clever legal strategy, Congress may have proceeded at a normal pace. However, by announcing his calculation and offering a delayed resignation, Kent guaranteed this result.
He will now be cut off from his $174,000 a year salary in prison. Kent handed his resignation, effective June 30th, 2009, to the Senate’s sergeant-at-arms during an official prison visit.
Kent’s defense and attitude has cost him the little support that he had remaining in this scandal. I have spoken with many lawyers who practiced in front of him who have described him as arrogant and abusive. However, nothing foreshadowed his lack of dignity and discretion as a criminal defendant.
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