D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray did his best Richard M. Nixon impression this week.
Asked point-blank at a news conference Wednesday, “Is the mayor corrupt?” the mayor offered this: “Well, there are lots of people who probably will have that question. I know who I am. I get up in the morning every day and look in the mirror and I see somebody I respect.”
(Tip for the mayor: The answer to that question should have been “no.”)
Okay, so it wasn’t exactly his “I am not a crook” moment, but, for Gray, it was a telling one in a week in which he traveled the path from embattled politician to damaged goods.
Three of the 12 members of the city council on Wednesday called for Gray to resign after it was revealed that supporters ran a shadow campaign on his behalf during the 2010 Democratic primary race against then-Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, and did not properly report financial contributions.
Then on Thursday, The Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis and Nikita Stewart reported that Gray knew about unreported expenditures as far back as January — before federal law enforcement officials raided the homes and offices of consultant Jeanne Clarke Harris and businessman Jeffrey E. Thompson, who is accused of spending $650,000 on the shadow campaign.
In addition, Harris pleaded guilty Tuesday to spearheading the scheme and now faces three years in prison. She is the third person from Gray’s campaign to plead guilty.
We’ve known for a while that Gray was in trouble; now he’s fighting to keep his job.
Vincent Gray, for feeling the squeeze around you tighten with every day, you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something.
Have a candidate for the Worst Week in Washington? E-mail Chris Cillizza at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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