More strange bedfellows in the Jefferson case

First, it was House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) issuing a joint statement condeming and calling “unconstitutional” the FBI’s seizure of documents from Rep. William Jefferson’s (D-LA) Congressional office in Washington, DC. Now, we’ve got Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) and Assistant Senate Minority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill) taking more measured approaches to the ‘controversy’ – with Frist concluding that after Constitutional research as well as consulting with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales that the FBI ‘acted appropriately’ in the search on Rep. Jefferson’s office and Durbin noting that this incident is not without precedent:

Frist (R-Tenn.) said on “Fox News Sunday” that he had studied the provision in the Constitution regarding the separation of powers, and consulted with Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales. He concluded that the FBI acted appropriately when it used a warrant to search the office of a sitting lawmaker for the first time in history.

“I don’t think it abused separation of powers,” Frist said. “I think there’s allegations of criminal activity, and the American people need to have the law enforced.”


Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), assistant minority leader, also took a measured view of the raid, questioning whether the “speech and debate” protections in the Constitution were violated, as critics say. “I’m not sure you can stretch it to apply to this situation,” he said. He noted that the action was not without precedent. He said that the FBI has raided the office of a federal judge before, so there is a history of branches of government crossing each other with regard to a search warrant. “In the next several weeks, we ought to take a hard look at it. I’m not going to rule it in or out at this moment.”

Is it possible that could common sense and sanity on this issue Could slowly be being restored in Washington, DC? One can only hope.

Hat tip: Captain Ed

Others blogging about this: QandO, Blue Crab Boulevard, Joe Gandelman, Liberty and Justice, Pejman Yousefzadeh

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