C/o the McCain campaign--which emailed it around this morning--I read a transcript of uber-lawyer Bob Bennett's appearance on Fox News last night, in which he said:
Senator McCain did not want a repeat of what occurred years ago in South
Carolina, namely a real smear campaign and asked me to assist them and I have
been assisting him. And this -- I'm just -- I think what the New York Times did
here was shameless, just shameless. As you pointed out in the lead, it's almost
entirely unsourced. You know, I'm in a pretty unique position to talk about John
McCain. First, I should tell your listeners you know I'm a registered Democrat,
so I'm not on his side of a lot of issues. But I investigated John McCain for a
year and a half, at least, when I was special counsel to the Senate Ethics
Committee in the Keating Five. Which, by the way, this New York Times article
goes back to and discusses -- goes back years and years. And if there is one
thing I am absolutely confident of is John McCain is an honest man. I
recommended to the Senate Ethics Committee that he be cut out of the case, that
there was no evidence against him, and I think for the New York Times to dig
this up just shows that Senator McCain's public statement about this is correct.
It's a smear job. [Emphasis added.]
All of which may be true. But what matters more here: the fact that Bennett is a registered Democrat, or the fact that he's McCain's lawyer?
Update: If you want more on Bennett's work for McCain--and, more imporantly, the whole backstory of how the NYT piece wound up in this morning's paper--Gabe Sherman has it all here.