Kennedy Copout? Contradictory Statements Released

Check it out — the AP has pinned down three separate statements from Patrick Kennedy so far. Each of them are different — even going so far as to contradict one another. It appears the congressman from Rhode Island may be suffering from selective memory more than anything.

Kennedy’s first statement, released by his press secretary:

"I was involved in a traffic incident last night at First and C Street SE near the US Capitol. I consumed no alcohol prior to the incident. I will fully cooperate with the Capitol Police in whatever investigation they choose to undertake."

Later came Kennedy’s full written statement, with more details:

"Last Tuesday, the Attending Physician of the United States Congress treated me for Gastroenteritis. The Attending Physician prescribed Phenergan, an anti-nausea medication, which in addition to treating Gastroenteritis, I now know can cause drowsiness and sedation.

"Following the last series of votes on Wednesday evening, I returned to my home on Capitol Hill and took the prescribed amount of Phenergan and Ambien, which was also prescribed by the Attending Physician some time ago and I occasionally take to fall asleep. Some time around 2:45am, I drove the few blocks to the Capitol Complex believing I needed to vote. Apparently, I was disoriented from the medication. At that time, I was involved in a one-car incident in which my car hit the security barrier at the corner of 1st and C St., SE. At no time before the incident did I consume any alcohol.

"At the time of the accident, I was instructed to park my car and was driven home by the United States Capitol Police. At no time did I ask for any special consideration, I simply complied with what the officers asked me to do.

"I have the utmost respect for the United States Capitol Police and the job they do to keep Members of Congress and the Capitol Complex safe. I have contacted the Chief of Capitol Police and offered to meet with police representatives at their earliest convenience as I intend to cooperate fully with any investigation they choose to undertake."

And now, here’s what was "officially" released this afternoon, where he claimed not to recall the events of Tuesday evening:

"Over my 15 years in public life, I’ve felt a responsibility to speak honestly and openly about my challenges with addiction and depression. I’ve been fighting this chronic disease since I was a young man, and have aggressively and periodically sought treatment so that I can live a full and productive life.

"I struggle every day with this disease, as do millions of Americans. I’ve dedicated my public service to raising awareness about the chronic disease of addiction and have fought to increase access to care and recovery supports for the too many Americans forced to struggle on their own.

"This past Christmas, I realized that I had to seek help again so checked myself into the Mayo Clinic for addiction to prescription pain medication. I was there over the holiday and during the House recess getting well, and I returned to the House of Representatives and to Rhode Island reinvigorated and healthy.

"Of course, in every recovery, each day has its ups and downs, but I have been strong, focused and productive since my return. But in all candor, the incident on Wednesday evening concerns me greatly.

"I simply do not remember getting out of bed, being pulled over by the police, or being cited for three driving infractions. That’s not how I want to live my life, and that’s not how I want to represent the people of Rhode Island.

"The recurrence of an addiction problem can be triggered by things that happen in everyday life, such as taking a common treatment for a stomach flu. That’s not an excuse for what happened Wednesday evening, but its a reality of fighting a chronic condition for which I’m taking full responsibility.

"I am deeply concerned about my reaction to the medication and my lack of knowledge of the accident that evening. But I do know enough to know that I need to seek expert help. This afternoon, I’m traveling to Minnesota to seek treatment at the Mayo Clinic to ensure I can continue on my road to recovery…"


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