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Tag Archive: FBI Office Raid

Congress Is Whiny:

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So let me get this straight. If you are a private citizen the police are free to search your car without your consent and use whatever they find against you in court; give you a few seconds to open your door before kicking it down if they SUSPECT you might destroy evidence, like a joint, before they enter; take your possessions to fund their police department whether you are guilty of a crime or not; and essentially pull you out of your house and arrest you with little to no evidence at all if they are arresting you on drug charges. And now Congress gets all testy when one of their members gets his office raided by the Feds after he is caught on tape accepting $100,000 in cold, hard cash. Speaker Dennis Hastert is demanding that the FBI return the files that they took:

"We think those materials ought to be returned," Hastert said, adding that the FBI agents involved "ought to be frozen out of that (case) just for the sake of the constitutional aspects of it."
And Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is calling the raid an abuse of executive power:
"Not anyone here is above the law," Pelosi told reporters Tuesday, as she prepared to meet with the House speaker. But, she added, "I think you've seen abuse of power of the executive branch over this weekend."
Maybe the Congress needs to read up on how the modern police force acts and how they use forceful measures to instill fear and reactivate power. These kind of raids -- and in some communities they are done in a paramilitary fashion -- are common in parts of this country. Perhaps instead of complaining about how they are being treated Congress should recognize that they are being treated in the manner that they decided that the rest of the populace ought to be treated.

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Gonzales Defends Raid After Bipartisan Criticism:

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Attorney General Alberto Gonzales defended the raid of Rep. William Jefferson's (D-LA) congressional office after taking heat from both parties over the alleged constitutionality of the action, acccording to the Washington Post. Leaders from both parties expressed outrage over the FBI raid with the Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) stating, "My opinion is that they took the wrong path." House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) stated his belief the case would wind up at the Supreme Court. There was also criticism of the raid from the Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD). Gonzales said, "We shouldn't lose sight of the fact that the Department of Justice is doing its job in investigating criminal wrongdoing, and we have an obligation to the American people to pursue the evidence where it exists." It is pretty amazing to see the House Republicans defending Jefferson, a Democrat, from the hard-nosed tactics of a Republican President's Justice Department when you would imagine they would be gloating over the Democrats' own ethics troubles. I would say that is the real shocking turn of events here.

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Late-Nite Raids:

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From Instapundit:

At any rate, members of Congress who are offended by an unannounced late-night raid on an office might profitably be asked what they think about late-night unannounced raids on private homes, which happen all the time as part of the Congressionally-mandated War on Drugs. If anything, it ought to work the other way. I think if you searched 435 randomly selected American homes, and 435 Congressional offices, you just might find more evidence of crime in the latter. . . .
Exactly the point I made below. UPDATE: And more sense making from streiff at Redstate:
If the search was truly a concern then that same concern should more rightfully have been raised when Jefferson’s home was raided. Clearly, a raid on your domicile is much more intimidating than a raid on your office. The idea that somehow a legislative agenda was imperiled by the FBI raiding Jefferson’s office is laughable on its face. First and foremost, any legislation or correspondence a congressman is working on is not more important than a lot of other things in government and private life. Businesses who are raided are at risk of losing trade secrets and business models. The FBI has raided CIA offices and other federal offices containing really classified information and perhaps put it in danger of exposure. So while I could agree in principle that confidential information might be exposed, that is the price of breaking the law. The detailed special instructions in the search warrant, beginning on page 78, show that uncommon deference was given to Jefferson and great deal of effort was devoted to searching the effects of William Jefferson, Democrat, Louisiana, the man, not William Jefferson, Democrat, Louisiana, the member of Congress.

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Resign (A Rant):

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So, Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) will not resign his office, has declared the allegations "outrageous", and says that, while there are two sides to the story here, now is not the time to give that other side. Well, like James Carville and Dana Milbank, I'd like to know what that other side is. Seriously, you were videotaped by the FBI taking $100,000 in cash from an FBI agent as a bribe and then the FBI found $90,000 of that cash in your freezer. Now, Milbank in today's Washington Post gives even more detail to the FBI sting:

He said it would be "extraordinarily foolhardy" to talk about the case. But, then again, it would not be the only foolhardy thing Jefferson had done lately. Didn't he know that the Pentagon City complex where he was stung was an FBI favorite? Both Monica Lewinsky and Pentagon official Larry Franklin (of the AIPAC espionage affair) were undone by agents in the same place Jefferson put the $100,000 in his Lincoln Town Car while "video taped by the FBI from several vantage points."
And now the congressman is claiming that the separation of powers has been violated in the search of his congressional office. Sorry congressman, but it's not the time for indignant statements about the Constitution. It's time to resign. And for all the other members of Congress who are claiming that this is some intrusion on the separation of powers I will let Justin Rood put you in your place:
Wow. After sitting largely silent for more than five years of assaults against citizens' constitutional rights, our legislators have been moved to protect the Constitution because one of their own -- a man who meets contacts in hotel parking lots to accept briefcases full of money, and actually kept $90,000 in cash bundled in his freezer -- had his offices searched by the FBI.
Unbelievable. What ever happened to "law and order" politicians? A sitting Congressman acts like a drug smuggler and then the FBI gets attacked after they treat him how they have been told to treat alleged criminals. Congress has been dishing out criminal justice legislation that supports these kind of heavy handed techniques that are aimed at deterrence of future crimes and now it gets turned on them and they can't take it. Boo hoo. Jefferson's lucky he was just involved in an international bribery scheme that involves corrupting a public office and violating the public trust, further tarring the political process in the eyes of many Americans. If he was doing drugs he'd have been carried off to jail along with his belongings, which would then be sold at a profit for the police.

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Roll Call: At Least Seven Other Schemes

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Roll Call reported yesterday on the FBI raid on Rep. William Jefferson's (D-LA) congressional office. What stands out in the Roll Call article is this short paragraph:

But the Justice Department and FBI agents are also looking at “at least seven other schemes in which Congressman Jefferson sought things of value” in return for official acts, the affidavit states. That suggests that additional avenues for prosecuting Jefferson could be revealed soon.
Apparently this iGate-Nigeria deal is not the first in which Jefferson may have abused his position for personal financial gain. What could these other deals be? When they are all accounted for will Jefferson have deposed Duke Cunningham as the king of congressional corruption?

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Congressman’s Office Searched, Caught on Video:

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In case you didn't catch the news this weekend a number of non-descript white men entered the office of a congressman under federal investigation for a number of violations including bribery. Those men were FBI agents carrying out a search warrant by raiding Rep. William Jefferson's (D-LA) House office building - the first time a congressional office has been raided - and searching the office for over 17 hours. In information released as a part to the search warrant it has become clear that the federal investigation into Jefferson's alleged solicitation of bribes in an African telecommunications deal is solid. The Washington Post:

Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-La.), the target of a 14-month public corruption probe, was videotaped accepting $100,000 in $100 bills from a Northern Virginia investor who was wearing an FBI wire, according to a search warrant affidavit released yesterday. A few days later, on Aug. 3, 2005, FBI agents raided Jefferson's home in Northeast Washington and found $90,000 of the cash in the freezer, in $10,000 increments wrapped in aluminum foil and stuffed inside frozen-food containers, the document said.
A woman, Lori Mody, who was a part to the deals with the African nations Nigeria and Ghana also wore a wire in her meetings with the congressman:
"All these damn notes we're writing to each other as if we're talking as if the FBI is watching," he told Mody, who was wearing an FBI wire. ... In another instance, Jefferson said someone, identified in court papers only as "John Doe #1," needed money to bribe "various officials in Nigeria." "We got to motivate him real good," Jefferson allegedly told Mody. "He got a lot of folks to pay off." Later in the conversation, he says: "If he's got to pay Minister X, we don't want to know. It's not our deal. We're not paying Minister X a damn thing. That's all, you know, international fraud crap."
Jefferson has yet to plead to anything and insists that he is innocent and is a victim of a trumped up investigation by too eager prosecutors. The congressman from New Orleans refuses to resign his seat if he is indicted and plans on fighting the charges. However, if what we see from these telephone conversations and video are true Jefferson will go down as one of the most blatantly corrupt congressmen in recent history. These tapes are so offensive that even if he were to fight the charges it is doubtful that the people of New Orleans, who are in need of honest and strong leadership in Congress, will send this man back to Washington come November.

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