Way to go, Republicans in Congress!
In a year when Democrats are using the “culture of corruption” theme against Republicans, Republican leaders yesterday expressed outrage over the FBI’s ‘raid’ of Louisiana Democratic Rep. William Jefferson’s Congressional office in Washington, DC – giving the impression that they think Congress should be above the law. Brilliant.
The New York Times lead off line in their story, of course, gets it wrong:
WASHINGTON, May 23 — After years of quietly acceding to the Bush administration’s assertions of executive power, the Republican-led Congress hit a limit this weekend.
Thereby making it sound like it was Bush’s executive decision to order the search of the Congressman’s office. The ironic thing about it is that the implication in the Times piece is that the Republicans have turned a blind eye to Bush’s “abuses of power” but no more – but that’s absurd considering on the face of it this whole thing makes Congressional Republicans look like people who are advocating that that they can be above the law.
Many of the initial articles that were written on the raid talked about the normal route the Justice Dept. has taken in years past regarding allegations of Congressional wrongdoing: the Justice Dept. would issue a subpoena. Guess what happened here?
Justice Department officials said the decision to search Jefferson’s office was made in part because he refused to comply with a subpoena for documents last summer. Jefferson reported the subpoena to the House on Sept. 15, 2005.
So when a Congressman refuses to comply with a subpoena, what other options are at the Justice Dept’s disposal? Obtaining a warrant, which is perfectly legal.
Congress may have their heart in the right place here with respect to their concerns on the separation of power argument, but before they flip out like Newt Gingrich, Hastert, and others have done, they might want to learn more about what led up to this before they start making sweeping assertions about this being a violation of separation of powers.
More: Gateway Pundit is on the same page:
Could there have been… any reaction that would have been more damaging to the Republican Party, President Bush, the Republicans in the House of Representatives and Senate, than Dennis Hastert’s response yesterday to the news of Rep. William Jefferson’s outrageous freezer-foil bribery scandal?
Could there have been… anything that would have helped the Democratic Party more than Dennis Hastert’s response to the news of Rep. William Jefferson’s (D-LA) outrageous freezer-foil bribery scandal?
Could there have been… anything that the democratic media would have rather heard than Dennis Hastert’s response to the news of Rep. William Jefferson’s (D-LA) outrageous freezer-foil bribery scandal?
Could there have been… anything that would have played better into the Democratic mantra of a corrupt and executive power-abusing Bush White House more than Dennis Hastert’s response to the news of Rep. William Jefferson’s (D-LA) outrageous freezer-foil bribery scandal?
Dan Riehl says: Enough With The Repologists
Others blogging about this: Captain Ed, Dafydd at Big Lizards, AJ Strata, Orin Kerr, Joe Gandelman, Outside The Beltway, Danny Carlton — alias “Jack Lewis”, John Hawkins