oh the hypocrisy of the Jefferson search

Topics: Civil Liberties
24 May 2006

From: Ervan Darnell

Rep. William Jefferson, no not William Jefferson Clinton, just William
Jefferson, had his offices searched this week by the FBI for evidence of
bribery based upon "The affidavit says that law officers discovered
$90,000 in suspected bribe money hidden in frozen-food containers in his
freezer." [1] Hastert & Pelosi signed a letter objecting to this.

Just think: this loser is legally bribed via the voting process to
confiscate $100G's of taxpayers dollars for payoff projects, and then
gets jammed up over $90K. But, that's not my point here.

Congress, busy shredding, or at least completely ignoring the shredding
of, search and seizure rights, has suddenly discovered civil liberties
when one of its own is investigated.

__How about some civil liberties for the rest of us?__

Even worse, the argument being made in support of Jefferson is not even
a sensible civil liberties one but rather that Congrescritters are
simply above the law by invoking: "shall in all cases, except treason,
felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their
attendance at the session of their respective houses, and in going to
and returning from the same". Jefferson himself was not arrested and he
did commit a felony (or is accused thereof and would be arrested for
probably a felony were he arrested). So, the "speech or debate" clause
is inapplicable for 2 separate reasons.

As one conservative blog pointed out, where were these imperial-Congress
Democrats (Pelosi) when DeLay was being investigated? They didn't seem
very interested in Congressional immunity then.

The second objection is that the executive is harassing the
legislature. In theory, this seems a valid point, but its broad
application here argues that the police can never investigate
Congresscritters. Were there any reason to think Jefferson were
targetted for political reasons, that would be very serious. But that
doesn't seem to be the claim here.

[1] http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/politics/14659208.htm
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