A odd twist occurred in an already twisted story of domestic assault, bitings and beatings when Ray Buckley and the N.H. Democratic Party sent out a statement addressing the arrest of senate minority leader Jeff Woodburn before the Attorney General had even announced it.
On Thursday afternoon, the top Democrat in the state senate was arrested and charged with nine counts of assault, domestic violence and other crimes related to abusing his “intimate partner.” But before that announcement came from the state AG’s office, New Hampshire’s Democratic Party chair had already sent out a statement condemning the senator and calling for his resignation.
And that fact has raised questions of its own:
“These events, and the preemptive leaks by Democratic officials, also raise serious questions about the entire Democratic Party,” Wayne MacDonald, head of the NH GOP said in a statement. “How did the Democratic Party know about these charges before the Attorney General’s announcement? How long did Democrats cover these events up? Every Democrat now needs to answer this question: what did you know and when did you know it? All of these questions must be thoroughly investigated, and I have full confidence that the Attorney General’s office will do everything it can to bring this tragic case to a just conclusion.”
The Concord Monitor’s political reporter, Ethan DeWitt agrees that Democrats have a problem. “How much members of the Democratic party knew of these allegations ahead of that 16 minutes will be big q going forward,” he said on Twitter.
Former N.H. state party chair Jennifer Horn goes even farther, turning the spotlight directly on her Democratic counterpart:
“If Ray Buckley knew anything about this before 4pm [Thursday] afternoon he must resign. Trying to cover this up or help Sen. Woodburn while knowing what the accusations were would be morally intolerable,” Horn tweeted Thursday.
“Ray, exactly when did you know anything at all about this?”
Will Democrat in New Hampshire police their own? Will they conduct an internal investigation and hold party officials who knew about Sen. Woodburn’s violence against women responsible?
It’s a question that New Hampshire Democrats are going to be forced to answer again and again between now and the November midterms, particularly if Sen. Woodburn continues to ignore the bipartisan calls to resign.