Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Attention Speaker Hastert: You are not above the law

Even in YOUR "House"

It appears some in Congress have their knickers in a knot over the raid on Rep. William Jefferson’s (D-La.) Congressional office this weekend. For Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, the issue seems to be over the “constitutionality” of the raid and he has gone on records saying “the seizure of legislative papers, no matter how innocuous, was a violation of the “the principles of Separation of Powers, the independence of the Legislative Branch, and the protections afforded by the Speech and Debate clause of the Constitution.”
Ohhhh Kaaay. The same article goes on citing Hastert:
Hastert also singled out Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in that statement: “It would appear that the Attorney General himself was aware that Separation of Powers concerns existed … because in seeking the warrant the FBI suggested to the judge procedures it would follow to deal with Constitutionally protected materials.”
Alright then! Heck, we can’t let the Executive Branch run roughshod over the HEY! Wait a second……
“Seeking the warrant”? They got a Federal judge to issue a warrant? And they had to describe to the judge how they would deal with the Constitutional issues before he would give them the warrant? Sounds like some due process going on. What does the AG have to say for himself?
"We respectfully, of course, disagree with the characterization by some,” Gonzales said. “We believe … we have been very careful, very thorough in our pursuit of criminal wrongdoing, and that’s what’s going on here. We have an obligation to the American people to pursue the evidence where it exists.”

So the story so far is this....

On the one hand we have a Justice Department eager to look at what a guy known to be ‘dirty’ might be keeping in an office where he thinks he’s untouchable. He put a pile of suspect cash in the freezer and is on tape taking dirty money for crying out loud! I wonder what he wouldn’t think to hide in his office! The AG does the right thing and gets a warrant, which is essentially a buy-in on the idea that a search is a good thing by the Judicial branch of government.

On the other hand we have a House of Representatives that seems to think they should be untouchable when on ‘hallowed ground’.


RECOMMENDATION: Speaker Hastert and his ilk should shut up, quietly cry in their beer, and worry how this perceived attempt to keep themselves above the law will look to their constituencies.

Crap. Of course, a bazillion people will read about this first at Instapundit. Looks like Professor Reynolds posted about the time I finished my first paragraph. I feel good knowing I'm on the same wavelength as the Blogfather, but I gotta either get off work earlier or learn to type faster [;-)

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