Thursday, May 25, 2006

As Bugs Bunny used to say, "What's the hubbub, Bub?"

BREITBART.COM - Bush Orders FBI-Congress Documents Sealed:
"In a statement, Bush said he recognized that Republican and Democratic leaders in the House had 'deeply held views' that the search on Rep. William Jefferson's Capitol Hill office violated the Constitution's separation of powers principles. But he stopped short of saying he agreed with them."

The constitutional crisis aspect of this affair has, in my view, been vastly over-rated. Article I, Section 6, Sub-section 1, second sentence states the limited immunity granted to members of the House and Senate. They cannot be arrested while attending a session, or while travelling to or from a session unless the crime charged involves a breach of the peace, felony, or treason. And, they can't be held to account in any court, either civil or criminal for what they may say in session.

Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) is being investigated for bribery which is a felony. To say that he could be arrested on the floor of the House (as allowed for felonies), but that a judge cannot issue a search warrant for evidence related to that felony in his congressional office would be a strange situation.

In the early days of the Republic, individual members were not even provided with offices in public buildings and they transacted their before and after hours business in rooming houses and taverns where they lodged during the sessions. To create a no search warrant zone in their government-supplied offices would be an invitation to keep incriminating evidence in those places. This would unduly burden law enforcement.

The problem is not that the executive branch is too eager to prosecute members of congress, but that it is too timid. Corruption is rife in Washington and there ought to be several prosecutions like this one in every session. There should be a permanent office of congressional prosecution in the Justice Department.

The halls of Congress should be thronged with government agents and confidential informants carrying suicases bulging with cash. Every member should have the opportunity to turn down a million in cash at least once a month. During congressional recesses, they should be hounded by men and women offering tainted money at every turn.

Just maybe, if the odds were better than even that an offer of cash for favors was an invitation to a jail cell, even the crooks would learn to say no.

1 Comments:

At Fri May 26, 08:30:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Ed Reid said...

Keen,

Congressman William Jefferson (D, LA)has become "An Inconvenient Truth" for the Dems, as evidenced by Harry Pelosi's call for his resignation of his key committee post.

The FBI agents knew what they were looking for when they entered his office. They know whether they found it. If they did, they don't need it in hand for the next 45 days, because it merely corroborates information they already had. They can proceed to prepare indictments which focus on the key issues they now know they can prove.

We'll see what happens in 45 days. Actually, I would not be surprised to see another warranted search of a congressional office before the 45 days expire. My personal choice would be John Conyers' (D, MI) office; or "Bagdad Jim" McDermott's (D, WA); or, perhaps, the recent millionaire congressman, Alan B. Mollohan (D, WV). Could be a fun summer!

 

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