Democrats & Liberals Archives

On The Edge

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the enforcement arm of the executive branch, raided the office of an elected representative of the people and sparked a firestorm on Capital Hill. Both Republicans and Democrats in the legislative branch of our government immediately denounced the administration’s FBI raid on the Congressman’s office.

Senate Leader Bill Frist says he's "very concerned" about this move against Congress by the President, and House Speaker Dennis Hastert issued a statement that "the actions of the Justice Department in seeking and executing this warrant raise important Constitutional issues that go well beyond the specifics of this case."

"Insofar as I am aware, since the founding of our Republic 219 years ago, the Justice Department has never found it necessary to do what it did Saturday night, crossing this Separation of Powers line, in order to successfully prosecute corruption by Members of Congress," Hastert said. "Nothing I have learned in the last 48 hours leads me to believe that there was any necessity to change the precedent established over those 219 years."

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who initiated the House ethics committee investigation of fellow Democrat William Jefferson, expressed concern that "Justice Department investigations must be conducted in accordance with Constitutional protections and historical precedent," and Newt Gingrich sent out emails warning that we are "on the edge of a Constitutional confrontation." Gingrich called the raid "the most blatant violation of the Constitutional Separation of Powers in my lifetime," and called on President Bush to discipline or fire "whoever exhibited this extraordinary violation."

There are two very important things to remember about this confrontation: First, rather than try to shield Williams like Republicans did with Tom DeLay, Democratic leaders in Congress actively called for an investigation of a fellow Democrat who appears to have broken the law, and second, President Bush once again displayed the enormous contempt he has for the Constitution of the United States.

I'm getting tired of saying this, but I agree with Newt Gingrich. President Bush must discipline or fire "whoever exhibited this extraordinary violation."

Posted by American Pundit at May 23, 2006 9:23 AM
Comments
Comment #150474

It is too late for us to save the Constitution now. The only real remedy for this administration’s lack of respect for the ‘people’ and the Constitution is revolution. Revolution in the most litteral sense of the word…words cannot describe the contempt I feel toward this bunch of fascist snake oil salesmen.

Posted by: Marysdude at May 23, 2006 10:30 AM
Comment #150477

Interesting how the two sides of the house come together when it’s congress itself that’s attacked. Big mistake. Bush is desperate for a Democrat scandal. I hope by stepping over the line he gets it with both barrels.

Posted by: Max at May 23, 2006 10:46 AM
Comment #150478

Mary

I agree.

-Einghf

Posted by: Einghf at May 23, 2006 10:46 AM
Comment #150481

I agree - with some reservation. I am so completely pissed at Jefferson for his past actions - I want him GONE! NOW! $90,000 in his freezer. He’s either a crook or too damn stupid to handle public money.

But, I do see the massive issue with separation of powers and the Constitution.

I guess I expect way more from someone who represents my party (such that it is) than this. Bush - well, this is just one more turd in a long line of crap from Bush… doesn’t surprise me in the least.

Posted by: tony at May 23, 2006 10:55 AM
Comment #150484
I guess I expect way more from someone who represents my party (such that it is) than this.

I agree. That’s why I was happy to see Pelosi go after him. A party that can’t police itself is useless.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 23, 2006 11:03 AM
Comment #150485

I was just reading about this event on the CBS site - and they say that the issues with Jefferson make it harder for DEMs to call REPs corrupt.

NO! IT DOES NOT! (dammit!)

This is not a US (DEMS) vs THEM (REPS)… it’s US (American Citizens) vs THEM (stupid freaking crooks and liars!) Enough of this crap! No more partisan bickering while the crooks rob us ALL blind. No more waiting for lawyers and jurys to decide for us how WE want and expect to be represented.

SCREW THEM ALL! SCREW THEM ALL! SCREW THEM ALL! GET OUT AND STAY OUT!


(damn, I need more coffee.)

Posted by: tony at May 23, 2006 11:04 AM
Comment #150486

No, tony, I don’t think you do. :)

Posted by: American Pundit at May 23, 2006 11:07 AM
Comment #150487

Ha… yea - just sticking to water so I don’t blow an artery.

I have this vulger image of a huge naked W Bush squating over the Capitol Building giving everyone the ‘ole red eye, and all our representatives are swooning and talking about it like it was some expressionistic art.

At what point do our leaders actually take a stand? W has turned into some kind of crazed playground bully - and he’s a moron. Why is it so hard for our leaders to find their backbones?

Posted by: tony at May 23, 2006 11:13 AM
Comment #150491

I’m not sure on this one AP..

It looks like Abscam II or in South Carolina Operation Lost Trust (both of which had some of the convictions overturned), but this time the FBI was smart enough to get a judge to agree to special procedures. Is it enough????

But I don’t remember Carter taking as much heat for the actions of the FBI then as Bush is taking now. Maybe because Abscam was mostly Democrats.

Posted by: George in SC at May 23, 2006 11:32 AM
Comment #150494

What makes this a slap in the face to Congress is that they’ve requested an investigation into some of Bush’s actions (NSA spying) and the investigators were not given the access to investigate. This had to come from Gonzales, and would also seem to be supported by Bush.

Bush is above the law - congress is not. That seems to be the message.

Posted by: tony at May 23, 2006 11:40 AM
Comment #150496

This all boils down to the old saying…”Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

It was wrong for Jefferson to put a briefcase filled with $100,000 in his 1990 Lincoln Towncar.

It was wrong for the FBI to search as they did.

It was wrong for Jefferson to stuff $90,000 in his freezer.

It is time to clear up all the wrongs. Pelosi needs to continue the investigation into Jefferson…and Bush needs to shake up the FBI and start demanding resignations.

Only two rights make a right.

Posted by: Jim T at May 23, 2006 11:47 AM
Comment #150500

Funny how when members of Congress have their Constitutional rights violated they are outraged, both parties, but when U.S. citizens have their Constitutional rights violated they almost couldn’t care less. Nice. Thanks for representing us. You’re doing a heckava job, Congressie!

Posted by: JayJay Snow at May 23, 2006 12:07 PM
Comment #150501

The congressional leaders’ invocation of some sort of absolute instutitional privilege is just as misguided as W.’s parallel invocation of an absolute executive privilege. In this case, the reports I’ve seen indicate (although without sufficient focus) that the FBI team went to great lengths to insure that their search was limited to the bribery allegations, and that the legislator’s political activities were carefully excluded. Such is a proper and practical balance of executive and legislative interests. If only W. would follow the same practice all the time. Instead, Team Bush seems to urge “institutional privilege” only when it serves their interests.

Posted by: Homer at May 23, 2006 12:14 PM
Comment #150506

Ah, but what a useful tool in the future! Should a congressman be suspected of violating national security laws, review the phone records; then conduct a sneak & peek warrantless search of the office; followed by detention and rendition. Why not?

We cannot afford for corrupt congressmen to endanger national security. Next thing you know, it will result in a mushroom cloud.

Posted by: phx8 at May 23, 2006 12:20 PM
Comment #150511
We cannot afford for corrupt congressmen to endanger national security.

Of course. If our elected representatives aren’t terrorists, then they have nothing to fear from executive branch FBI raids and a little “frat boy prank”-style questioning, right?

Posted by: American Pundit at May 23, 2006 12:30 PM
Comment #150513

>>We cannot afford for corrupt congressmen to endanger national security. Next thing you know, it will result in a mushroom cloud.

Posted by: phx8 at May 23, 2006 12:20 PM

Wow! What a BUSHY picture you paint…

Posted by: Marysdude at May 23, 2006 12:35 PM
Comment #150517

Congress is no more above the law than any of the rest of us. If the FBI can raid my place of business, then it can raid Congresses. But they need warrants in either case. It sounds to me that they had warrants.
This attitude that from Capital Hill that they are immune to laws is just another reason to dump the whole damn bushel basket full of them and get folks in there that understand that they are subject to the laws the same as everyone else.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 23, 2006 12:43 PM
Comment #150518

I agree. That’s why I was happy to see Pelosi go after him. A party that can’t police itself is useless.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 23, 2006 11:03 AM

And that is exactly why BOTH parties are unless.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 23, 2006 12:53 PM
Comment #150519

Political corruption is perhaps the greatest crime that can be perpetrated against the (American) people. Be it a republican or a democrat, anyone who decides that he or she is above the law must be confronted and dealt with harshly. In this case, if the Administration crossed a Constitutional line, they will have to suffer the consequences. If Jefferson crossed a legal line, than he too must suffer the consequences.

That said, I am always troubled by overzealous, premature condemnations of *alleged* crimes. Innocent till proven guilty, anyone?

I will not say a word about the wrongdoings on the part of Jefferson or the Administration until the evidence comes to bear, and the case decided, by the proper legal aparatus.

American Pundit, if the President has crossed any Constitutional lines, he should be held accountable. However, at this point, that’s a big “if.” Yet, you have wasted no time in assigning culpability to him:

“the administration’s FBI raid on the Congressman’s office.”

Is that really necessary?

“Bill Frist says he’s “very concerned” about this move against Congress by the President.”

The article says Frist is concerned about the incident, he has not yet said that the President is behind it.

None of us should view the “other side’s” indiscretions as victories for our own side. After all, the American people at large are the real losers in these cases.

Posted by: Dr Politico at May 23, 2006 12:56 PM
Comment #150520

Ron, the difference is the President of the United States can use the FBI to intimidate Congress. The “speech or debate” clause was put into our Constitution specifically to prevent that — and that’s why everyone has a bee in their bonnet over this particular instance of Bush using our founding document to wipe his ass.

By all means, Jefferson should be investigated and prosecuted if he’s guilty — and kudos to Congresswoman Pelosi for initiating the investigation — but it must not be done by the executive branch.

Once again, the checks and balances so vital for securing our democracy are being chucked out the window, and I’m relieved that the Republicans are finally getting worried — it must be an election year.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 23, 2006 12:59 PM
Comment #150522
American Pundit, if the President has crossed any Constitutional lines, he should be held accountable. However, at this point, that’s a big “if.” Yet, you have wasted no time in assigning culpability to him.

You’ll have to take that up with Hastert, Frist, and Gingrich.

The article says Frist is concerned about the incident, he has not yet said that the President is behind it.

At what point did the FBI stop answering to President Bush? Do you really think that President Bush wasn’t informed about something as serious as his investigative bureau violating the Constitution of the United States?

And what does that say if he wasn’t?

Posted by: American Pundit at May 23, 2006 1:04 PM
Comment #150523

AP
I’ll bet if the FBI raided a Republicans office yaall wouldn’t have a problem with that. Yaall wouldn’t be claiming that Bush is destroying the Constitution.
But it was one of them sacred Democrats office that was raided. A crooked one at that. So this is all Bushes fault.
Yaall ever figure that the job of the FBI is to investigate crime? And that it don’t matter who the criminal is?

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 23, 2006 1:05 PM
Comment #150525
I’ll bet if the FBI raided a Republicans office yaall wouldn’t have a problem with that.

You’d lose the bet.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 23, 2006 1:08 PM
Comment #150527

And the proper spelling is y’all. Us Southerners have a bad enough rep the way it is, don’t perpetuate it. ;)

Posted by: American Pundit at May 23, 2006 1:10 PM
Comment #150537

“That said, I am always troubled by overzealous, premature condemnations of *alleged* crimes. Innocent till proven guilty, anyone?”

OK - fine, as far as someone’s personal life in or out of jail goes. This is about holding public office, and it’s NOT about doing what is legal - it’s about doing what is RIGHT!

When do you remove the suspected child molester from your child’s daycare? When you discover their actions or when a court of law convicts them?

Posted by: tony at May 23, 2006 1:43 PM
Comment #150539

When private businessmen commit crimes, get their offices searched in surprise raids and then get paraded in front of the news media in a “perp walk” liberals applaud it. What’s the difference here, other than the fact that Jefferson didn’t get the perp walk?
Oh, yeah, he’s a Democratic congressman.
When a Republican gets investigated watchblog is filled with diatribes convicting him and damning all conservatives. When a Democrat gets caught red-handed with video proof of his crime the left starts claiming that Bush has abused his office. No matter who gets caught doing anything wrong the left, predictably, starts bashing Bush.
There has been no violation of the Constitution by the FBI in this case.
The Constitutional provision relevant to this case is Article I, section 6, which states “…They shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance of their respective Houses,…”
Bribery is one of the most serious felonies possible for a congressman to commit.
Even if Bush is somehow involved in the investigation he did nothing wrong.
After the raid Jefferson’s lawyer complained that the FBI was wrong to raid Jefferson’s office because they new the documents were safe and weren’t going anywhere. Crap! The FBI wouln’t take my word for it, so why should they take his? They caught him red-handed taking a huge bribe and now they should trust him? Law enforcement on any level doesn’t trust the people they’ve caught red-handed.
Nancy Pelosi is not the right person to investigate a Democratic congressman. This isn’t a violation of party rules, it’s a serious crime against the United States. The FBI is filling its proper role.

Posted by: traveller at May 23, 2006 1:53 PM
Comment #150545

traveller,

No matter who gets caught doing anything wrong the left, predictably, starts bashing Bush.

That’s true, and hardly newsworthy. What IS newsworthy in this story is that the RIGHT is bashing Bush over it. Frist, Hastert, and Gingrich have all spoken out against it.

Whether they’re correct or not (which is debatable), they’re breaking ranks! THAT is the real story here!

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at May 23, 2006 2:13 PM
Comment #150546

Don’t give Pelosi too much credit. She called for an investigation last month. The official investigation has been going on for almost a year and a half and I understand it was fairly common knowlege that the guy was not really clean for a longer time than that.

I know conservatives have been complaining about the relative lack of attention paid to Democratic corruption and pointing to the William Jefferson case where the media overlooked Dem corruption for at least a year. If Pelosi was shocked to find corruption in her own party, she was the only one and came to the realization later than most.

I think William Jefferson’s “COLD CASH” is a nice touch.

A recent report on lobbying show the bipartisan nature of the problem. Former Democratic Senator Tom Daschle is the all time leader in getting PAC money. His successor in the job, Harry Reid only manages to get up to forth place.

One interesting thing I found out was that the synfuels debacle of the Carter Administration is still draining taxpayer money. Lobbyists listed in the report fight to save the synfuel tax credit, which has allowed firms to get $1 billion to $4 billion per year merely by spraying coal with diesel fuel or other substances and claiming a tax credit for creating a “synthetic” fuel.

Remember that when we talk about the big government programs to solve our current energy woes.

Posted by: Jack at May 23, 2006 2:13 PM
Comment #150550

Wow, lots of great comments here, but I’m only going to respond to a few.

Marysdude:
“It is too late for us to save the Constitution now. The only real remedy for this administration’s lack of respect for the ‘people’ and the Constitution is revolution. Revolution in the most litteral sense of the word…words cannot describe the contempt I feel toward this bunch of fascist snake oil salesmen.”

Please don’t say that, Dude. It’s not too late to save our Constitution! It can’t be. It’s the lifeblood of American Democracy — so there is no other choice but to save it. Please try to keep in mind that we were once able to recover from both McCarthyism, and from Nixon and Watergate. America MUST and WILL recover from the Neocon administration of George W. Bush!

tony:
“I am so completely pissed at Jefferson for his past actions - I want him GONE!”

YES. Gone.

“I guess I expect way more from someone who represents my party (such that it is) than this.”

Me too, and of course it’s the only way to keep ANY political party in line. Look at how the criminal actions of the Neocons and the failure of the people in the Republican party to expect more has now (finally!) caused the total implosion of the GOP. Their unchecked corruption has now rendered them toast. That’s exactly as it should be.

“Bush - well, this is just one more turd in a long line of crap from Bush… doesn’t surprise me in the least.”

Me either. Honestly, nothing could surprise me about them now. They are the absolute WORST EVER. I expect only more of the same — but would rather see them all impeached to send the message loud and clear that We the People can’t and won’t stand for this sh*t from ANY administration.

AP:
“I was happy to see Pelosi go after him. A party that can’t police itself is useless.”

Spot-on.

Tony:
“This is not a US (DEMS) vs THEM (REPS)… it’s US (American Citizens) vs THEM (stupid freaking crooks and liars!) Enough of this crap! No more partisan bickering while the crooks rob us ALL blind. No more waiting for lawyers and jurys to decide for us how WE want and expect to be represented.”

Damn straight.

“What makes this a slap in the face to Congress is that they’ve requested an investigation into some of Bush’s actions (NSA spying) and the investigators were not given the access to investigate. This had to come from Gonzales, and would also seem to be supported by Bush.”

I agree. Gonzales with Bush’s support. Those F*ckers think they can do whatever they want.

“Bush is above the law - congress is not. That seems to be the message.”

I’m hoping they’ll get a rude awakening in November. No one is above the law. Not them. Not Congress. Not us. Nobody.

“This is about holding public office, and it’s NOT about doing what is legal - it’s about doing what is RIGHT!”

Exactly, tony.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 23, 2006 2:29 PM
Comment #150579

Rob Cottrell,
You have a good point. It seems awfully self serving, though. They’re a bunch of career politicians objecting to one of their own being treated like a common American.

Posted by: traveller at May 23, 2006 4:36 PM
Comment #150583

traveller -

Can the FBI search the Oval Office?

Posted by: tony at May 23, 2006 4:45 PM
Comment #150585

Ron Brown

You got it right when you said that BOTH parties are useless.

Tony said:

“That said, I am always troubled by overzealous, premature condemnations of *alleged* crimes. Innocent till proven guilty, anyone?”

Thats done to the Republicans everyday right here! In reality they are all crooks that, after elected, only represent their own self interest.

In a country where Teddy Kennedy sits it review of supreme court nominees, what else could you possibly expect.

THEY ARE ALL HyPOCRITES.

Congress or the White House or ANYONE should not be above the law, or exempt from the very laws they enact for the rest of us. They certainly should not be exempt from warranted searches for criminal evidence. But all the politicians of both parties have made it so the laws do not apply to them. From the Patriot Act to Kennedy not getting a breathalizer test and a ride home, it is all a big scam.

If the cash isn’t in the freezer, then you can trust its hidden somewhere else like a re-election campaign fund. Or maybe it is in the pocket of some lobbyist waiting for your senator or congressman to sell you out.


Posted by: jwl at May 23, 2006 4:52 PM
Comment #150586

its obvious why he put the cash in the freezer. its so much easier to count that way. No one is above the law,Nixon showed us that. With the apparent exception of hollywood,the rest of the country seems to believe that. The end does not justify the means however,and if all proper procedure is not followed ie search warrants,any information thus obtained is inadmissable.

Posted by: jblym at May 23, 2006 4:53 PM
Comment #150601

Does anyone still believe that these elected officials have “our” best interests in mind?
As to Bush… well at least he did bother to get a warrant this time. Trully a step for him.

I really do wish that we could hold them all to the standard we set for the party of our opposition.
Maybe there is a chance for some healling though, put DeLay and Jefferson in the same cell.

Posted by: Ted at May 23, 2006 5:24 PM
Comment #150602

Well, if you’re going to trash 219 years of Congressional tradition regarding constitutional protections of the branches of government from a boneheaded chief executive, William Jefferson is the guy you want to throw to the fascists. Take a gander at Mr. Jefferson’s track record. A DINO (Democrat in name only) if ever there was one.

I find it fascinating that Frist, Hastert and Gingrich are so upset with this. Perhaps they feel they’re protecting ‘one of their own.’


http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0523-28.htm

Posted by: Tim Crow at May 23, 2006 5:26 PM
Comment #150603

AP

In United States of America vs. Nixon,the Supreme Court held that executive priviledge does not apply in a CRIMINAL investigation.

If this end up there,the holding will be extended to the legislative branch.

End of story.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 23, 2006 5:27 PM
Comment #150608

just for the record - I didn’t say this… it’s someone else’s quote

“�€œThat said, I am always troubled by overzealous, premature condemnations of *alleged* crimes. Innocent till proven guilty, anyone?�€”

Posted by: tony at May 23, 2006 5:36 PM
Comment #150621
I agree. Gonzales with Bush’s support. Those F*ckers think they can do whatever they want.

Why do we still act so surprised by any of this.

Most (if not all) in Congress and the Executive Branch think they can do whatever they want, and it will get worse before it gets better, because we keep re-electing them, and empowering them to use and abuse everyone.

Even if caught red-handed, they might get a pardon, like the 140 felons pardoned by Clinton.

And watch Bush pardon a bunch of felons too. He already has pardoned about a dozen.

They already had enough on William Jefferson to indict him, plus the money hidden in his freezer. So why search his office? Was it becaue the FBI has previously asked 8 months prior to do so, but were ignored? You’d think that Jefferson would have been more careful, knowing the FBI was watching him. But, not enough to catch him red handed receiving cash bribes which he hid in his home refrigerator.

It exemplifies how confidient they are that they can do what ever they want. Many do it, but only a few get caught. How many do we not even know about, since there is so little transparency, and our government is so FOR-SALE ?

Our irresponsible, bloated, bought-and-paid-for, childish, corrupt, and unaccountable government has grown into:

  • (1) a vast structure of the Executive Branch that is a bloated gang of over two million persons that are neither seen nor heard as they irresponsibly throttle our freedoms and prosperity; subtly growing and securing more and more power; one of the first steps toward totalitarianism, is the destruction of the parliamentary/legislative branches of government;

  • (2) a relatively smaller 535 in Congress and their hundreds of thousands employees, mostly a fumbling and stumbling group that is too busy piling on pork-barrel, corporate welfare, and subsidies to special interests, gathering $millions while trying to get re-elected, voting themselves raises and cu$hy perk$, and far too preoccupied with seducing voters and fueling the the perpetual petty partisan warfare.

Both branches lack honesty and transparency, which leads to irresponsibility and unaccountability. They have, over time, hidden and over-complicated things to keep the voters from really knowing what is happening much of the time. There is increasing secrecy. It is part of a historical cycle that’s been seen before.

We keep re-electing them, so it truly is a government Of / By / For The People !

Want real change?
Start doing the one simple thing we were all supposed to be doing all along … vote out irresponsible incumbent politicians, always.

Unfortunately, this is unlikely to happen any time soon … not until things have decayed to the degree that voters start feeling the inevitable pain and misery of their own laziness, ignorance, wallowing in partisan warfare, and continually re-electing the very same irresponsible incumbents that they complain about. Too many seem to think their congress person is good, but most have not really researched the deeds and voting records of their elected officials. They’re either Democrat or Republican, and they pull the party lever every election, as if brainwashed.

There’s no doubt that most (if not all) politicians are crooked to some degree, and :

  • vote irresponsibly for pork-barrel (while our troops risk life and limb, go without body armor, armor for vehicles, and adequate medical and health care) ?

  • vote themselves cu$hy perks and raises (e.g. such as the extravagant retirement plans, funded by tax-payers, that are not part of the same mismanaged Social Security and Medicare systems that tax-payers are relegated to) ?

  • ignore problems for fear of risking re-election or defying their big-money-donors ?

  • prevent newcomers to congress from passing badly-needed, common-sense, no-brainer, responsible reforms ?

  • tempt, pressure, and threaten newcomers with the loss of party support if the newcomers don’t accept the status quo ?
  • pander ?

  • peddle influence and accept money from big-money-donors (bribes, donations, favors, etc.) ?

  • fuel the petty partisan warfare that distracts the nation from our many pressing problems ?

  • spend a great deal of time and tax-payers’ money (via allowances) trolling for money for their campaign war-chests ?

  • do not abuse their allowances (provided by tax-payers) to retain their cu$hy, coveted seats of power ?

  • look the other way ?

  • only act as if they genuinely embrace campaign finance reform, election reform, tax reform, or any reform that will create more transparent, accountable, and responsible government, even if it diminishes their opportunities for personal gain ?

  • are fiscally irresponsible ?

  • don’t deserve to retain their cu$hy, coveted, and prized seats of power ?

The bar is set so, so very low, we have come to think half-crooked ain’t half-bad.

The truth is, as long as we have the right to vote, we have the government we elect, and keep re-electing.

I’ll be the first to admit to doing it. But never again.
No more pulling the party lever.
No more voting for any incumbent guilty of a single thing listed above.

Can anyone list 10, 20, 50, or even 268 incumbents (half of the 535) in Congress that aren’t guilty of at least one of the things in the list above? Do voters even care? Not yet. But they will, when it gets really bad. Unfortunately, it will then be too late.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 23, 2006 5:55 PM
Comment #150660

tony,
Of course they should be able to if they have a reason and a warrant. As has been stated many times before, no one is above the law.
That doesn’t apply to the Clintons, as history shows. They ignored subpoenas with impunity.
Remember the Rose law firm billing records that magically appeared on Hillary’s desk two years after they were subpoenaed? Or all the other subpoenaed records that have never seen the light of day?
If the FBI is conducting a criminal investigation they should be able to search any where that’s relevant to the investigation, without exception, no matter who occupies the office; with a warrant, of course.

Posted by: traveller at May 23, 2006 7:15 PM
Comment #150727
I have this vulger image of a huge naked W Bush squating over the Capitol Building giving everyone the ‘ole red eye, and all our representatives are swooning and talking about it like it was some expressionistic art.

So this is what Jack was talking about in his Artistic Freedom post. Thanks Tony that image is now burned in my brain, I won’t sleep tonight.

It isn’t a coincidence that corruption is rampant in politics and business. I don’t advocate violent revolution in the vein of Marysdude (Welcome to the NSA watch list),but I do advocate a revolution like D.A.N. advocates.(although he needs a lot less caffiene , too) Turn out the incumbents. Send a clear message that you are tired of the status quo, screw the middle class politics as usual.

Posted by: gergle at May 23, 2006 11:06 PM
Comment #150738

how about that democrat from ohio, who wore 1970s polyester clothes, and a rug for hair? he would come down to the well and blast the democrats, and vote with the republicans. did they ever diagnose the mental disorder?

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 23, 2006 11:43 PM
Comment #150766
When a Republican gets investigated watchblog is filled with diatribes convicting him

And that’s exactly what we’re doing with Jefferson as well. What’s your point?

If this end up there,the holding will be extended to the legislative branch.

SE, let me tell you a story about a little place called, America. You see, the people living there were oppressed by a dictator who ingnored and overrode the will of the people and their representatives whenever he wanted. This pissed ‘em off. So they put their collective boot in this guy’s ass and started their own government — a government they vowed would never run roughshod over the people.

So in their founding document, these founding fathers put all kinds of checks and balances to make sure their new leader could never become another dictator like the one they just beat the crap out of — you with me so far?

One of the provisions made it illegal for the President’s police (a.k.a the FBI) to harass and intimidate the elected representatives of the people. Other provisions made it easy to investigate — or even reject — a President who attempts to exercise dictatorial powers.

Sure, it’s not fair to the President, but it’s not supposed to be.

What the FBI did was probably un-Constitutional, and I’m glad even the Republicans in Congress are getting a little worried about how far President Bush will go.

What I’m disappointed in is how many Bush fans still defend him, even when their elected Republican representatives will not.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 24, 2006 1:32 AM
Comment #150803

I’m With d.a.n. here.
Voted in my primary here in Oregon for every non-incumbant on the list where no non-incumbant was listed I wrote in a name.
Come this fall the Libratarian party is going to get my vote in every place they have a candidate and if someone asks I will sign the patition to get them on the ballot. I am voting as a pissed off non-partisan. If the Libratarians don’t have a candidate the Green party will do. I hope many of you here on both sides of the isle will do the same, Vote your concience.
The price we will have to pay is going to hurt, yes on both sides the isle. We have a broken two party system the only way to fix it is turn it into a three party system. That will break in a few years but at least we won’t have one party running all three representitive branches of the government.
Hell I can’t understand why a conservative would vote for bush, the guy can’t find his veto pen with a flashlight, both hands and the overhead lights on. He sure as hell can find his pen to sign a spending bill, and on a tax cut it comes out like a lasor.
I find it scarry that the man’s solution to every problem in america is to have another tax cut.

Posted by: timesend at May 24, 2006 6:39 AM
Comment #150805

traveller -

“Of course they should be able to if they have a reason and a warrant. As has been stated many times before, no one is above the law.”

Does this apply to the offices of the NSA?

Posted by: tony at May 24, 2006 6:50 AM
Comment #150806

AP,
Read the rest of the paragraph, the rest of your post and the other posts. That’s my point. You’ve dropped the context.
The FBI are not the president’s police. They are a federal police, created by Congress.
They are not harassing and intimidating a member of Congress. They are conducting a criminal investigation of bribery. Everyone who says it’s wrong to search a congressman’s office (with a warrant and with extraordinary deference you and I wouldn’t be afforded) is saying Congress is above the law.

Posted by: traveller at May 24, 2006 7:07 AM
Comment #150808

tony,
I stand by my statement. My post is plain spoken and straightforward. Is there a concept in it you’re having trouble grasping?

Posted by: traveller at May 24, 2006 7:15 AM
Comment #150809
They are a federal police, created by Congress.

No, they aren’t, traveller. I know Republicans are fact averse, but facts do exist. Here’s a short history of the FBI from their web site.

The FBI was created by the Attorney General’s office. The FBI Director reports to the Attorney General, who reports to the President. The FBI is an executive branch bureau, and Congress has no authority over it.

If you don’t believe the FBI’s own website, you can ask kctim.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 24, 2006 7:18 AM
Comment #150810

AP,
I stand corrected.
Speaking of being fact averse, I’m not a Republican, as I’ve stated many times.

Posted by: traveller at May 24, 2006 7:24 AM
Comment #150811

Blow up DC and start from scratch

Who do yopu really think is behind the World Trade Center thing?

hmmm!

Posted by: Benita at May 24, 2006 7:40 AM
Comment #150816
Speaking of being fact averse, I’m not a Republican, as I’ve stated many times.

Sorry. Friends..? :)

Posted by: American Pundit at May 24, 2006 8:17 AM
Comment #150823

“tony,
I stand by my statement. My post is plain spoken and straightforward. Is there a concept in it you’re having trouble grasping?”

Yes - I’m trying to understand the logic of giving the FBI the right to search any given location. As one who seems to be concerned with National Security, how can the FBI - whose agents are no cleared to view classified documents - search and seize areas that do have security clearance?

This does not mean that these people are above the law, it just means that a different path they need to follow.

My point about NSA is that the Justice Dept was not given security clearance to search the NSA. So how do justify the FBI gaining access? What’s the precedent you are using?

Posted by: tony at May 24, 2006 9:27 AM
Comment #150840

AP,
No problem, I’ve been called worse.lol :)

tony,
I believe law enforcement should be able to pursue a criminal investigation wherever it may lead. If it leads to the offices of the NSA then it should be pursued. Agents can be trained and vetted for clearance.
Something similar to the procedure that was used in the search of Jefferson’s office could be used, with all documents checked through higher authority to insure that only documents relevant to the criminal investigation are seized without sensitive material being compromised.

Posted by: traveller at May 24, 2006 10:59 AM
Comment #150847

AP

Only slightly off topic, it was very clever of you (and Dems) to go on the attack about this. Here you have the very embarassing case of someone who is so openly corrupt he even makes the people of Louisana (a place where corruption is not tolerated; its required) blush. Add to that we have the amusing pun possibilities in that William Jefferson actually FREEZES his assets or had it in COLD CASH.

We have a funny and flagrant example of Democratic corruption. I heard about this months ago. Nobody could get this covered very well in MSM because it didn’t fit the template. It finally gets so bad that nobody can ignore it, and you manage to make it a civil liberties issue. Well done.

Posted by: Jack at May 24, 2006 11:11 AM
Comment #150892

Jack, any time Americans can nail a corrupt politician of any party AND raise the alarm about the President of the United States exercising un-Constitutional dictatorial powers, it’s cause for congratulations.

Both these issues are serious, and I hope both will be investigated thoroughly and the appropriate action taken — but I’m not going to hold my breath over one of them. :(

Posted by: American Pundit at May 24, 2006 12:55 PM
Comment #150904

AP

Yeah, I know.

Just congratulating you on a good tactical move, however. I also (usually) take the subjects seriously, but I can still enjoy a good play even by the oppostion.

Posted by: Jack at May 24, 2006 1:23 PM
Comment #150907

Ok, not so much BS this time:

Jack, you know as well as I do that the Jefferson investigation was getting just as much press as the Ney investigation. To imply that the media is somehow biased on this is a real stretch.

Corrupt politicians is old news — it’s a cliche (though the Republican Party is remarkable in having way more than its fair share of them) — but the President sending his goons to harass Congress, now that’s a story!

And I’m sure it’s tough for conservatives to stomach the fact that the guy they elected President cares so little for conservative principles and the Constitution, so, unlike Paul, I’m happy to cut you guys some slack…

…As long as you (like Frist, Hastert, and DeLay) acknowledge that we’re “on the edge of a Constitutional confrontation,” the FBI raid is “the most blatant violation of the Constitutional Separation of Powers in my lifetime,” and President Bush should discipline or fire “whoever exhibited this extraordinary violation.”

Posted by: American Pundit at May 24, 2006 1:31 PM
Comment #150930

Benita I am the first to admit that I am very frustrated with the situation in D.C. While I would not advocate your particular remedy,I will protect your right to say it by all means possible. However,when you suggest that ANY american official or agency of the United States had anything to do with the destruction of the World Trade Center,you teeter on the brink of such insanity that it worries me. There are many competent people out there who can and will help you through your delusional phase and you can in time,reliquish your sick,delusional conspiracy theories

Posted by: jblym at May 24, 2006 2:16 PM
Comment #151023

AP, it will be interesting to see how much politically sensitive (not criminally sensitive) information the FBI obtains on the Democratic Party from strategy memos and issue plans and reports them to the White House. I can hear the White House now responding to accusations that the FBI raid on the Congressman is the only source the White House could have obtained sensitive Democratic Party information from: “The White House does not comment on ongoing criminal investigations. Not until the President is out of office, anyway.”

May be a tin foil scenario. Then again, maybe not!

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 24, 2006 6:04 PM
Comment #151045

David,
From the reports I’ve read about the search there was a fairly elaborate procedure used to insure that couldn’t happen.

Posted by: traveller at May 24, 2006 7:46 PM
Comment #151132

Jefferson is a thief. His guilt is not in question and he has refused to provide the documentation siezed. If he stole TVs and jewelry instead of money, would you support blocking the execution of a warrant to search his office for the hot goods?

The Democratic leadership has known for years what a greasy lowlife Jefferson is. I am not impressed with Pelosi’s belated call for him to step away from the public trough.

Posted by: goodkingned at May 25, 2006 3:03 AM
Comment #151155

Marysdude Wrote:

It is too late for us to save the Constitution now. The only real remedy for this administration’s lack of respect for the ‘people’ and the Constitution is revolution. Revolution in the most litteral sense of the word… words cannot describe the contempt I feel toward this bunch of fascist snake oil salesmen.

You may well be right. Thomas Jefferson predicted the need of it. Of course, the goal of any such Revolution would be to restore the Constitution - with all its safeguards, and make this nation once again a nation of Liberty and Justice.

One thing: Revolutions do not start with the sacrifice of a Few. Kent State didn’t spark one, and if anything should have done it, that was it. John Brown’s broadsword attack in the riverbed didn’t start one: it was actually the South - rebelling against the new Slave-State tradeoff - that began that particular (evil) revolution.

I had been arguing with Stephen Daugherty on this point, and had asked him just what would be Too Far: I haven’t had a fully satisfactory answer yet. For many of us, I think it will be just one (or possibly two) more Rigged Elections. The one this year and the one in 2008 come to mind…

Or maybe d.a.n. is right and Americans will lazily do as the Romans did: first allow the return of a King, cede him Special Powers, and then let the resultant Empire crumble under the weight of its own Corruption. Of course, things move much Faster now in the Modern Age…

Posted by: Bett(er)y at May 25, 2006 7:54 AM
Comment #151172

Bett(er)y
Don’t worry. Politicians are by their very nature reactive and not proactive. If there is a loud enough gasp of collective indignation in the country, they will scurry towards whatever makes the light go away.

Posted by: jblym at May 25, 2006 10:25 AM
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