Tuesday, May 23, 2006

We're CONGRESSMEN!!! You Can't Raid US!!!

See, when you're in Congress, none of the rules apply:

An unusual FBI raid of a Democratic congressman's office over the weekend prompted complaints yesterday from leaders in both parties, who said the tactic was unduly aggressive and may have breached the constitutional separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches of government.

Rep. William J. Jefferson (La.), who is at the center of a 14-month investigation for allegedly accepting bribes for promoting business ventures in Africa, also held a news conference in which he denied any wrongdoing and denounced the raid on his office as an "outrageous intrusion." Jefferson, who has not been charged, vowed to seek reelection in November.

Jefferson's reaction is the normal one--after all, he was the target of the raid.

But it's THESE reactions which make you wonder:

The Saturday raid... posed a new political dilemma for the leaders of both parties, who felt compelled to protest his treatment while condemning any wrongdoing by the lawmaker.

Republican leaders, who previously sought to focus attention on the Jefferson case as a counterpoint to their party's own ethical scandals, said they are disturbed by the raid. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) said that he is "very concerned" about the incident and that Senate and House counsels will review it.

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) expressed alarm at the raid. "The actions of the Justice Department in seeking and executing this warrant raise important Constitutional issues that go well beyond the specifics of this case," he said in a lengthy statement released last night.

"Insofar as I am aware, since the founding of our Republic 219 years ago, the Justice Department has never found it necessary to do what it did Saturday night, crossing this Separation of Powers line, in order to successfully prosecute corruption by Members of Congress,"

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement that "members of Congress must obey the law and cooperate fully with any criminal investigation" but that "Justice Department investigations must be conducted in accordance with Constitutional protections and historical precedent."

Senator Frist and Speaker Hastert (both useless turkeys, by the way) ought to be slapped. What they're doing is NOT asserting "congressional privilege," they are getting dangerously close to justifying obstruction of justice.

When you think of the intrusions the Congressional Crowd has imposed upon ordinary citizens (remember "airport screenings"??) ....it takes a LOT of chutzpah to make these asinine comments.

HT: AnkleBitingPundits

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