May 31, 2006

Sensenbrenner: Congressmen Are Above The Law

More on the search of Rep. William Jefferson's Capitol Hill Office from the Washington Post:

The Justice Department yesterday vigorously defended the recent weekend raid of Rep. William J. Jefferson's Capitol Hill office as part of a bribery investigation, asserting that the Democratic lawmaker attempted to hide documents from FBI agents while they were searching his New Orleans home last August.

The government questioned in a 34-page motion filed in U.S. District Court here whether it could have obtained all the materials it had sought in a subpoena if it had not launched the surprise raid on Jefferson's congressional office May 20. According to the government filing, an FBI agent caught Jefferson slipping documents into a blue bag in the living room of his New Orleans home during a search.

"It is my belief that when Congressman Jefferson placed documents into the blue bag, he was attempting to conceal documents that were relevant to the investigation," FBI agent Stacey E. Kent of New Orleans stated in an affidavit that was part of the government's court submission. The document was filed in response to Jefferson's lawsuit demanding that the government return to him documents seized during the raid on his Capitol Hill office 11 days ago.

Robert P. Trout, Jefferson's attorney, said he would refrain from commenting pending further review of the government's documents. Meanwhile, the recent FBI raid spurred new tensions between Congress and the administration, as a House committee chairman vowed to interrogate top Justice Department officials.

Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) said he wants Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III to appear "up here to tell us how they reached the conclusion" to conduct the raid, which Sensenbrenner called "profoundly disturbing" on constitutional grounds. The chairman also said that his committee "will be working promptly" to draft legislation that would clearly prohibit wide-ranging searches of lawmakers' offices by federal officials pursuing criminal cases.

Sensenbrenner if a fucking idiot, and quite frankly, I am ashamed to say that he is a member of the Republican Party.

For as much of a pathetic exuse for a political party as the Democrats may be, the Democrats should have no problem in the midterm elections - the Republicans are doing as much as they possibly can to hand over the House and Senate to them.

This asshole goes even farther than Hastert did (at least Hastert tried to rely on an existing constitutional provision to support his ridiculous assertion that Congressional offices are "no-search zones"). Not only does he ludicrously claim that there was a constitutional violation, but instead, he also vows to have his committee draft legislation to officially and explicitly make Congressional offices off limits to law enforcement personnel.

I have an idea. Rather than working on such legislation, why not try to actually work on the nation's business? You know - solving the judiciary problems that your committee should be working on??

Why not just come out and say that Congressmen are above the law? Let's stop tap dancing around the issue. Because, after all, that is what this is about... make no mistake about it.
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