August 4, 2007

Court rules on search of Jefferson congresional office, House Republicans have a fit

A Federal appeals court has ruled that the FBI must return legislative items seized in a search of corrupt congressman William Jefferson, concurring with my opinon on the issue way back when.

Story in the Trib here.

On a tangentially related matter, the Republicans in the house went bananas a night ago over a screw-up with voting on a motion to reconsider. The presiding officer, a Democrat, called the vote for the Dems before all votes were in. It was later corrected, and Dem. Steny Hoyer even called for a re-vote just to put things straight.

It was messed up and not the proper thing to do, but the thing was absolutely benign compared to what the Republicans did with a bill last session, holding open the vote for something like 4 or 5 hours, in direct violation of house rules, in order to let disgraced crook Tom DeLay twist arms, and in at least one case, outright threaten another Republican that if he didn't vote Delay's way, the Republicans would ensure that his son, who was planning to run for office, would have everything but the kitchen sink thrown against him.

Not a peep out of the pious Republicans then.

But how refreshing to hear the Democrats actually admit that this procedural snafu was a mistake, take responsibility for it, and appologize and try to make it right. Hell, they're even calling for an investigation of it themselves!

This is what decency was like before the Republican era. This is the measure of integrity and class that was banished from the House by Newt Gingrich and the radical right.

A hell of a lot more honorable than the Republicans, who needless to say, are far too petty, dishonorable, and small to every do such a thing. And of course, they're too childish and petty to ever understand and move on. Instead they walked out of the house in a snit, accomplishing nothing, but ensuring that nothing got done in the House.


At 8/04/2007 5:03 PM, Anonymous True Observer said...

The real story is that Democratic Congressmen were for illegal aliens getting benefits but voted against the motion to be able to campaign saying they were against it.

Once it looked like the motion might pass, they showed their true colors by starting to switch their votes to allow benefits to illegals.

The open vote for 3 hours. Although not orhodox was not against the Rules of the House.

Once the gavel was struck, the only person who had the official vote was the Clerk of the House on a sheet of paper which he handed to the Presiding Officer. That sheet of paper said 215-213 in favor of the motion to recommit.

More important, millions of people saw this vote on their TV Screens.

That is why the Democrats are feeling the heat.

At 8/05/2007 6:06 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

You can have that particular view of the situation, but I must point out that the Republicans holding open that particular vote as long as they did was absolutely a direct violation of house rules.

At 8/06/2007 9:17 AM, Blogger Peter said...


At 8/11/2007 8:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not understand...

A Federal Grand Jury ordered the search. Are we now saying that members of Congress are above the law, provided that they conduct their illegal activities from within their Congressional offices?

To make this a partisan issue is uncomprehensible. This is a matter of OUR paid legislators being, or considering themselves above the law.

At 8/12/2007 12:45 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

First of all, it's NOT a partisan issue. Secondly, it's not about legislators being "above the law", but rather the issue at hand is whether the executive branch, in the form of the FBI or Justice Department, should be able to just bust into any legislators office and seize papers and effects relating to legislation.

The reasons for forbidding this should be obvious, as if it was allowed, the way would be cleared for the President to harrass or otherwise chill any legislator by inventing some suspicion and then going to seizing documents that would spell out legislative strategies, etc.

It would be a license to spy and extort.

I imagine that there are ways to gather evidence against Jefferson short of raiding his capitol hill office. I personally trust that they'll have more than enough evidence to hold him accountible for what seems to clearly be a case of corruption.

At 8/13/2007 7:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They had already found $90,000 cash in the man's freezer.

They obtained an order from a Federal Grand Jury.

Are you kidding me?

At 8/13/2007 7:55 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

You're not too bright, are you? Or you're just ignorant on purpose for the sake of arguing.

What is it about the separation of powers and the law that you would rather ignore?

As you say, there surely must be plenty of evidence to convict this guy without ransacking a congressional office, thus setting a precident for the executive to be able to dig through confidential documents, or to threaten searches, etc. to enforce political blackmail.

I'm sorry you don't get it, but apparently a federal judge does.

You're just freaking out because there's so much damning evidence about Jefferson without taking a split second to think of the larger issues involved as far as whether the search and seizure of materials from his congressional office was legal.

If you'd read and think, you'd realize that I'm not defending Jefferson. That's clear.

But apparently you're not too literate, or simply skim things and don't actually let the words sink in.


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