No one can say that Judge Kent didn't put up an aggressive and creative fight in his defense against the charges levied against him - during the course of that proceeding, Kent took the offense time and again, surprising many with his strategic maneuvers.
And Samuel Kent surprised everyone once again, this week.
You'll recall from our earlier posts that Judge Kent returned to the national spotlight last month, when he sent in his letter of resignation -- with an effective date one year in the future. This would allow him to continue collecting his salary, even from his prison cell, until he was "fired" -- which for an appointed federal judge, means impeachment and trial in Congress.
Say what you will about Kent, this was a smart and shrewd move on his part, from a defense perspective.
Of course, this served to incense many, and the impeachment of Judge Kent began. Then, as the Senate was beginning its trial process by sending two Senate officials over to Judge Kent's jail cell last week to serve a summons upon him, voila.
Another surprise from Judge Kent.
He handed the Senate summons servers a short, terse letter where he resigned effective June 30, 2009. As of today, Judge Kent is no longer a federal judge, his bench is vacant, and he's no longer drawing a government paycheck.
Congress has to decide what it's going to do now. He's already in prison for 33 months. He's broke. They got lots of other business. Maybe Congress just lets this go.
Meantime, one has to wonder: book deal?