Sunday Interlude: On Jefferson’s Office Search

Let’s start with Sen. Frist (via the AP)

In a break with his counterparts in the House, the Senate’s leader said Sunday the FBI was within its right to search the office of a congressman under investigation in a bribery case.

“No House member, no senator, nobody in government should be above the law of the land, period,” Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said.

“I don’t think it abused separation of powers,” Frist said on “Fox News Sunday.

“I think there’s allegations of criminal activity, and the American people need to have the law enforced.”

While he apparently did not understand the meaning of the amnesty Bill from the Senate (he voted yea), he understands that Congress is not immune from the legal system.

Sensenbrenner is not entirely getting it:

“This debate is not over whether Congressman Jefferson is guilty of a criminal offense,” Sensenbrenner said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “He cannot use the constitutional immunity of Congress to shield himself from that or any evidence of that. But it is about the ability of the Congress to be able to do its job free of coercion from the executive branch.”

How is being held to the same standards as every other Amercan coercion? Especially since a Federal judge signed the warrant to search the office of Rep. William Jefferson (D-La) because of the piss poor cooperation by Jefferson. Granted, Jefferson doesn’t have to cooperate in providing evidence that could show he is guilty, but the Constitution provides warrants issued by judges.

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, said there needs to be “hard look” at whether the FBI violated the Constitution. But he said the FBI has raided judge’s chambers before, so there is precedent for crossing branches of government for searches.

He also said he wasn’t sure the “speech and debate” protections in Article 1, Section 6 of the Constitution were violated, as some of have argued.

While I rarely agree with Durbin, I think there should be a hard look at whether the FBI violated the Constitution, and it should be soon. This week. Starting Tuesday. Let’s get the information out there on the table, and show the Congress Critters that they are not above the law.

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