Friday, August 03, 2007

How to get tough on crime--NOT!

You remember Rep. William Jefferson, the Louisiana Democrat who was caught in a bribery sting with $90,000 in cold cash in his freezer?

Of course, that was a long time ago, so you may be wondering why the case is taking so long compared to other prosecutions, like that of Duke Cunningham. You would think they would have this guy locked up already, wouldn't you? Especially since he's a Democrat, which would make the Bushies even more interested in nailing him.

Well, you would think that, except that the people who were going to restore honor and integrity to the Oval Office can't even prosecute corruption right, and that's kept the case tied up since last year.

You see, the Justice Department had the FBI raid Jefferson's Congressional office, something that had never been done before, and Jefferson challenged the search in court. Today, the court ruled that even though the search was legal, the FBI violated the Constitution by searching his Congressional records and papers. The court said the Constitution insists that lawmakers must be free from any intrusion into their congressional duties. Such intrusion, even by a filter team, "may therefore chill the exchange of views with respect to legislative activity," the court held.

This was an intrusion that was so egregious that it brought together Democrats and Republicans, with former House Speakers Newt Gingrich, a Republican, and Thomas Foley, a Democrat, fil[ing] legal documents opposing the raid, along with former House Minority Leader Bob Michel, a Republican.

Now they still have to litigate whether they can use anything they scooped up in the raid of his office, and there's no telling how long that will take.

Maybe Gonzalez has a new motto: "Sure we're corrupt, but we're incompetent, too!"

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