Royally Kranked

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Still Rallying Around One Of Their Own-UPDATE

And the easily swooning & gasping elitists, those who don't feel they should be bound by the same laws everyone else has to follow and be subjected to, well, their bleating continues unsilenced from yesterday, and that's the post to read as to why Jefferson's office was searched in the first place, as well as why I feel he's as big a symbol of failure during Katrina as Dear Leader W was

The most infuriating aspect, the one that's really arrogant and insulting is that these same politicians who don't have a single problem with warrantless spying on purely domestic communications, or the Administration outright lying the US into war on Iraq, are now SO outraged by the thought of DoJ action they're rallying around this corrupt, self-serving bastard Rep. Jefferson, and all because his office was searched pursuant to a lawful search warrant

And lets clear up something else as well-A Search Warrant WAS issued, and the search was conducted only AFTER Jefferson refused to turn over documents targeted with a subpoena

And yet, politicians of BOTH parties are aghast that their offices can be searched after subpoena are ignored-All this suggests is that the politicians rallying around Jefferson foresee that THEIR offices might be searched as well at some point

These politicians feel that they're above the law, that because of their status as lawmakers, they should be entitled to presumptions of propriety-their offices being sacrosanct from search warrants-that they would sneer at for anyone else pushing this same supposed outrage being conducted on their business premises

There's so much off-key, hypocritical, elitist caterwauling it's hard to know which blather gets mentioned first, so forgive if this post gets disjointed here-it's very hard to make these paragraphs flow smoothly when it's different articles being linked

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Officials Defend Raid on Lawmaker's Office

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) complained directly to President Bush yesterday about the FBI raid, while House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) predicted a constitutional showdown before the Supreme Court.

"My opinion is that they took the wrong path," Hastert told reporters after his meeting with Bush in the White House. "They need to back up, and we need to go from there."

And isn't this interesting, it appears the DoJ is already backtracking from it's duty to investigate and prosecute-It appears the DoJ is now worried about possible Congressional Oversight on this one issue-Again, the hypocrisy regarding this stand with the one backing warrantless spying on US citizens just cannot be overstated on the part of the GOP and the DoJ

According to one Justice Department official, the White House is sympathetic to Hastert's complaint and is pressing Justice Department officials to figure out a way to placate Congress. White House spokesman Tony Snow said: "We are hoping that there's a way to balance the constitutional concerns of the House of Representatives with the law enforcement obligations of the executive branch."


The attorney general's comments followed a series of sharply worded complaints from Republican leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (Tenn.) and Hastert, who said in a lengthy statement issued late Monday that the search raised "important Constitutional issues that go well beyond the specifics of this case." Boehner yesterday referred to the search as the "Justice Department's invasion of the legislative branch."

"I have got to believe, at the end of the day, it is going to end up across the street at the Supreme Court," Boehner said. "I don't see anything short of that."

If there was any thought that this would lead to completely needed oversight of the Administration's warrantless spying on purely domestic communications, I'd be the first one cheering, but the GOP will no doubt not have ANY oversight in the offing concerning that subject

Speaker Hastert Protests to Bush Over Raid

The FBI's raid on a congressman's office is rippling through Capitol Hill, with majority Republicans in the House complaining to President Bush and predicting a constitutional showdown in the Supreme Court.

Lawmakers predict this may be the beginning a long dispute over the FBI's search of Rep. William Jefferson's office last weekend. Historians say it was the first raid of a representative's quarters in Congress' 219 years.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., was so angry that he complained to Bush about the FBI's conduct.

Must be nice to yell at the Commander in Chief when your oh-so-delicate sensibilities are offended at the thought of being held to the same standard as all of us non-Congresspersons, the serfs & unwashed rabble, eh, Denny?

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F.B.I. Raid Divides G.O.P. Lawmakers and White House

After years of quietly acceding to the Bush administration's assertions of executive power, the Republican-led Congress hit a limit this weekend.

Resentment boiled among senior Republicans for a second day on Tuesday after a team of warrant-bearing agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation turned up at a closed House office building on Saturday evening, demanded entry to the office of a lawmaker and spent the night going through his files.

And in an astonishing stating of the obvious

Republicans may have a potential self-interest beyond defending the institutional prerogatives of the legislative branch. With some of the party's own lawmakers and aides under scrutiny in corruption inquiries tied to the lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the former lawmaker Randy Cunningham, Republicans would no doubt like to head off the possibility of embarrassing searches of their members' offices.

BING BING BING BING BING BING BING BING BING, We Have A Winner, and that will be a theme that's mentioned further below

And here come the bipartisan hypocritical bleatings

But lawmakers of both parties said they had no interest in protecting criminal activities or Mr. Jefferson. Their fear, they said, is that the search set a dangerous precedent that could be used by future administrations to intimidate or harass a supposedly coequal branch of the government.

"No member is above the law, but the institution has a right to protect itself against the executive department going into our offices," said Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat in the House. "We all have in our offices information, letters, correspondence, speeches, etc., that we have written, some of which we may have given to the public, put on the public record, some may not be, which is confidential information, just as the White House has confidential information."

I'm sorry, I guess there have never been legal raids on lawyers offices, and these types of issues-investigations dealing with confidential documents and records-have never come up in our nation's existence before

Even more amusing is that for all their spluttering outrage, politicians don't even have a clue as to how to deal with this "breach" of their protocol

Mr. Hoyer and other Congressional leaders said they were uncertain of what their legal or procedural response might be, though several said a "protocol" for carrying out such a search should be worked out between the Justice Department and Congress. Such an arrangement could cover things like prior consultation with leaders or other notice, how the search would be conducted, who would be present and other details.

"I think it is necessary for us to assert our own prerogatives," said Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the deputy Republican whip.

No doubt, especially if those "prerogatives" include keeping Congressional and Senate offices off-limits to legal investigations dealing with unethical, corrupt politicians, mainly seen now due to ties with disgraced GOP superlobbyist and convicted felon Jack Abramoff-a motif coming up with more examples below

Yeah, I can't imagine THAT'S why the GOP is mewling so pitifully on this topic

And this last batch from this linked story sums up-through absence of an answer-just why the politicians should be publicly pilloried as hard as possible for rallying around Jefferson for the most selfish of political reasons

Members of Congress are mindful that much of the public is not familiar with the speech and debate clause, which, among other things, requires that lawmakers be "privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same." Many people may wonder why a Congressional office cannot be searched in a criminal case and what members of Congress are complaining about.

To many lawmakers, that is secondary to the larger separation-of-powers principle they see at risk.

"I clearly have serious concerns about what happened," Mr. Boehner said, "and whether the people at the Justice Department have looked at the Constitution."

Can you please speak up Rep Boehner, I doubt the warrantless spying on purely domestic communications indicates the DoJ is operating in context of our Constitutional protections, namely, the 4th and 5th Amendments, so when can we expect that desperately needed oversight of the Executive Branch?

Oh, right, NEVER with the GOP in charge

There is no sign that Congressional Republicans' discontent over this particular matter may spread into a more general challenge to the administration's expansive view of executive authority.

Again, here's the REAL reason why these parasites are rallying around Jefferson

Office search riles GOP

House Republicans continued Tuesday to strongly denounce the weekend FBI raid of Democrat William Jefferson's congressional office as a possible violation of the Constitution's separation of powers.


Spillover to other probes

Political analysts suggested that the GOP concern may be shaped in part by other ongoing federal probes.

Norm Ornstein, a veteran congressional observer for the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said it looks to him as though the Justice Department was on a fishing expedition with the office raid, given all the taped evidence it has already gathered on Jefferson.

What motivates Republican leaders, Ornstein said, is a fear that federal prosecutors are sending a message that they are extending the investigation well beyond Jefferson to include GOP wrongdoing related to lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who has pleaded guilty to bribery and tax evasion, and former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Calif., who pleaded guilty to taking millions of dollars in bribes to add defense appropriations to spending bills.

Thomas Mann of the liberal Brookings Institution agreed.

"They must be worried by the expanding Department of Justice investigations following the Cunningham plea and the Abramoff affair, both of which are likely to involve sitting Republican members of the House and Senate," Mann said.

Heaven forfend that self-preservation is the reason Congress is rallying around Jefferson, it's just not accurate to suggest that played any part in the politicians whining about the raid in the least

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Concern About Search by FBI Is Bipartisan

Jefferson's lawyer, Robert Trout, could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Over the weekend, he called the search outrageous.

"There were no exigent circumstances necessitating this action," Trout said. "The government knew that the documents were being appropriately preserved while proper procedures were being followed."

As was pointed out, without "exigent circumstances", that's why a search warrant was used in this case, and since Jefferson refused to comply with a subpoena in turning over documents and records, then the "exigent circumstances" excuse holds no water here, not when a search warrant was issued

And in a manner of shooting down these "sky is falling" claims by politicians afraid they might be subjected to the ignominy of being treated like their constituents and having their offices legally searched, so the following can apply to those politicos who increasingly appear as the thwarted villain in the Scooby Doo cartoons about how they would have gotten away with it if it hadn't been for that, in this case, meddling FBI

Although the unprecedented search has made headlines, the investigation is in many ways proceeding along a normal track, the experts said, with guilty pleas from people who had dealings with Jefferson and their promises to cooperate with the investigation.

And let's hit the hypocrisy meme again

Another analyst said that members of Congress should protect congressional independence, but noted that current GOP leadership has not been nearly as aggressive in demanding information or access to documents from the current administration as it was when Democrat Bill Clinton was in the White House.

"They might be right about the separation of powers question, but they could have left Democrats to make the legalistic arguments that look so bad to voters," said Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. "Instead, it's the Republicans who moved front and center to demand that members of Congress should be treated better than the average American who is suspected of committing a serious crime. People absolutely despise the fact that congressmen think there are two sets of rules: one for Congress and the other set for everyone else."

By far, the most irritating of the Jefferson apologists is Speaker of the House, Hastert, and he's in dire need of a much-overdue BitchSlapping

Hastert tells President Bush FBI raid was unconstitutional

In a statement distributed Monday night, Hastert made it clear that he was not given a heads-up about the FBI’s raid on Jefferson’s office.

In the Speaker’s lengthy statement, Hastert complained that the seizure of legislative papers, no matter how innocuous, was a violation of the “the principles of Separation of Powers, the independence of the Legislative Branch, and the protections afforded by the Speech and Debate clause of the Constitution.”

Hastert also singled out Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in that statement: “It would appear that the Attorney General himself was aware that Separation of Powers concerns existed … because in seeking the warrant the FBI suggested to the judge procedures it would follow to deal with Constitutionally protected materials.”

And Steny Hoyer is only slightly less obnoxious, showing a clear disconnect from how any of his non-elected constituents would be treated in similar circumstances via a search of their offices & workspaces

“No member of Congress is above the law,” House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters yesterday. “I am concerned about the unprecedented exercising of authority over a separate branch of government and the execution of a search warrant without any communication with the leadership of this House.”

Hoyer said he agrees with Hastert’s concerns and was less than defensive of Jefferson.

“The institution has a right to protect itself against the executive branch going into our offices and violating what is the Speech and Debate Clause that essentially says, ‘That’s none of your business, executive branch,’” Hoyer said.

Uh huh, I'm sure from now on the DoJ and law enforcement authorities of all stripes, at all Govt levels will start giving everyone a heads up when they're about to carry out a search based on a warrant

And Boehner AGAIN undercuts his tiresome rhetoric in not holding this Administration to account over it's warrantless wiretapping of purely domestic communications, those clear violations of the 4th Amendment

“When I raise my right hand and swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States, I mean it,” Boehner said, referring to the oath members take at the beginning of each Congress. “[Justice Department employees] take the same oath, so somebody better start reading the Constitution down there.”

Implement your "reading the Constitution down there" BS for yourself FIRST, as raping the 4th Amendment via warrantless spying on the US public with no oversight from yourself is a hell of a beam in your own eye when it comes to upholding the Constitution

And would that Hastert's selective outrage extended to EVERYONE who's involved in warrantless spying on purely domestic communication by US citizens

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Hastert Demands FBI Return Documents

The FBI's raid on a Democrat's office rippled through Capitol Hill Wednesday, with Republicans demanding that the bureau surrender documents and other items its agents seized under what lawmakers said were unconstitutional circumstances.

''I think those materials ought to be returned,'' said House Speaker Dennis Hastert, adding that the FBI agents involved ''ought to be frozen out of that (case) for the sake of the Constitution.''

Wow, so now we need to stop using FBI Agents investigation criminal wrongdoing, I'll just bet John Gotti is doing a victory dance-well, he would be if he hadn't died behind bars like the evil scumbag he so clearly was

A rather apt metaphor for these corrupt politicians, no doubt

Yet there are also examples of higher brain functions and abstract thought, and not being disconnected from the voters and constituents from at least a few politicians as well, one Dem and one GOP

From the NOLA story/link

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada was much more restrained than his Republican counterparts in talking about the raid.

"I believe strongly in separation of powers," Reid said. But, he said, when people commit crimes they should be prosecuted, whether "that person is a member of Congress or driving a cab."

"I will be happy to take a look at this," Reid said. "From the little bit that I know about it now, I'm not going to beat up on the FBI."

And from the LA Times link/story

But some members said legislators should be held to the same standards as ordinary Americans.

"Congress should not set itself apart from citizens," Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.), a former chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, told the Capitol Hill publication Roll Call. "We should be treated alike when it comes to criminal codes."

A Big "Thank You" to Reid and Warner for not jumping the same elitist shark their colleagues have in this case

And to get an idea of how those of us not in Congress see this issue, go HERE and HERE


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