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Hampton’s indictment would have seemed harsh but at least fair had Ensign, his clear — and more culpable — co-conspirator, been indicted at the same time. By taking a hard line against Hampton but going easy on Ensign, it looks like the Department of Justice is protecting the rich and powerful at the expense of the poor and powerless. Hardly the sort of justice that supervisors at the U.S. Attorney’s Office taught us to aim for.
Prosecuting Hampton, but not Ensign, is not justice at all.
Melanie Sloan is executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.