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A Tangled Webb

The he-said he-said between Virginia Senator Jim Webb and his Executive Assistant Phillip Thompson gets weirder and weirder.

After being arrested on Monday for trying to bring a gun and extra ammunition into the Russell Senate Office Building, Mr. Thompson reportedly claimed that the weapon and ammo belonged to his boss, who had given them to him just before flying out of town.

Sen. Webb expressed his support for Mr. Thompson, who spent his 45th birthday in jail because of the matter, but declined to acknowledge whether or not the gun belongs to him.

“We had three cars on Friday that were being moved about because of my trip, and that is probably a reason that this inadvertent situation developed,” Webb blathered. Oh, yeah, three cars = concealed gun carried into a Senate building. Of course.

Compared with the president, lawmakers have little protection, Webb whined, apparently unimpressed by the Capitol Police. “We are required to defend ourselves, and I choose to do so.”

However, Webb insisted, “I have never carried a gun in the Capitol complex, and I did not give the weapon to Phillip Thompson, and that’s all that I think I’ll say.”

Asked whether he thinks he’s above D.C.’s restrictive gun laws, Webb gave another of his clumsy non-answers: “I’m not going to comment on any level in terms of how I provide for my own security.”

A number of questions, beyond whether Webb considers himself to be above the law, remain to be answered. Among them: Does Sen. Webb know whether or not it was his gun? Why was Mr. Thompson in possession of it? Does Sen. Webb not keep careful track of where his weapons are? Why is Sen. Webb verbally expressing support for his aide while contradicting his story? Why won’t he answer these questions? What is he hiding?

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3 thoughts on “A Tangled Webb

  1. Dear Leslie,

    Thank you for your thought-provoking post. The Washington Post article says, “During his news conference, the few details Webb offered contradicted an account provided Monday by a Senate official familiar with the case. That official said Webb had given the gun to Thompson during a trip to the airport earlier in the day.” Assuming that the official is not Thompson himself, this report about an anonymous source corroborates Thompson’s side of the story rather than Webb’s.

    By the way, a sketch by the Post‘s Dana Milbank offers some striking details that indicate how Thompson had to spend his birthday: “Thompson — a.k.a. ‘Lockup No. 1’ — spent 28 hours in the slammer after walking into the Russell building Monday morning with a gun and two loaded magazines in his briefcase. Two hours after Webb’s performance in front of the cameras, Thompson — sandwiched between drug cases and domestic disputes — made his appearance in the foul-smelling arraignment room at D.C. Superior Court. He had a 5 o’clock shadow and a new pair of leg irons to accessorize his rumpled business suit.”

    Sincerely,
    Bryan Atchison

  2. Compared with the president, lawmakers have little protection, Webb whined, apparently unimpressed by the Capitol Police. “We are required to defend ourselves, and I choose to do so.”

    Well now, that is a take I hadn’t made on his comments. Excellent post!!!

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