After being caught on tape accepting a bribe, and having that $90,000 bribe stuffed in his home freezer in DC, Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) is fighting for the ‘rights’ of Congress to be able to hide and protect incriminating evidence in their Washington, DC offices. Via CNN’s Political Ticker:
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Government attorneys say members of Congress should not be “given keys to the evidence locker” when investigators search their offices for criminal wrongdoing. But a lawyer defending a Louisiana congressman argues there’s a Constitutional “sphere of protection” against interference by the executive branch.
A federal appeals court heard arguments Tuesday on whether the FBI violated what’s known as the “speech and debate clause” of the Constitution when agents raided the Capitol Hill offices of Rep. William Jefferson a year ago next week. The clause is intended to block the executive branch’s use of law enforcement to intimidate federal lawmakers.
Tuesday, government attorney Michael Dreeben told an appeals court the search warrant signed and affirmed last year by a federal judge included “what is necessary to protect legislative independence,” such as a “filter team” to segregate any legislative material outside the range of the search.
Jefferson’s attorney, Robert Trout, told the three judges on the panel they should void the search warrant and order the materials returned, since the raid “cannot help but intimidate the legislative function” as prohibited by the Constitution.
Heh. Isn’t that something? He can’t argue against an incriminating videotape and the seizure of $90,000 in his freezer by the feds, so he takes the only other avenue he can: by arguing that the raid on his office was unconstitutional.
Here’s more, via ABC’s Political Radar:
The Justice Department lawyer said the investigation has been facing a “massive delay” as investigators have been waiting to review the documents during the pending legal battle. The Justice Department has proposed using a team of separate agents, not involved in the investigation to review the materials and have the District Court review weather the materials are privileged or not.
This case appears to be stalled until the Appeals Court rules if Jefferson is entitled to review the materials which were seized by the FBI.
Rep. Jefferson, isn’t fooling anyone. He doesn’t care about the rights of any other Congressman outside of himself, and the ‘right’ he wants is not the Congress from political intimidation from the executive branch but against a legal search to obtain evidence that likely will sink you down further than you already are.
Republicans successfully have kept Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) from assuming a position on the Homeland Security Committee by demanding the full House vote on the measure, rather than allowing the approval of his appointment through unanimous consent.
I had wondered why I couldn’t find his photo on the Homeland Security Committee’s website.
- Immersed in a bribery scandal, re-elected Rep. William “Refrigerator” Jefferson receives a standing ovation from Congressional Black Caucus
- Louisiana’s 2nd district runoff election: Will Rep. William Jefferson be able to retain his seat? (UPDATE-JEFFERSON WINS)
- Court blocks Justice Department from reviewing seized files from Jefferson’s office
- Take that, Congress: Federal judge rules raid was legal
- Jefferson stripped of seat on House Ways and Means Committee, cries racism
- ABC News poll: 86% favor FBI searching Congressional offices with a warrant
- More strange bedfellows in the Jefferson case
- Feds were ready to take a stand in Jefferson case
- Rep. Jefferson – the latest news
- Way to go, Republicans in Congress!
- Ray Nagin wins again in New Orleans mayoral election (w/ news on Rep. Jefferson scandal)