Thursday, May 25, 2006

WH Bails out House GOP

What do you suppose motivated the White House to seal the documents taken from Congressman Jefferson's office?

Glenn speculates that there might be something more here than meets the eye, but I don't think so. I think Captain Ed is probably right here.

I doubt there's anything mysterious about it. I just think that the White House saw that the House GOP had gone out on a limb, and risked political suicide. If there was no resolution now, then we would have spent the next few months watching the back-and-forth, and hearing about the lawsuit brought by the House to protect the documents of a criminal. (BTW, weren't these the same folks that wanted to take the teeth out of the exclusionary rule)?

Dennis Hastert and the House GOP were doing an homage to Cleavon Little in "Blazing Saddles;" they had essentially put a gun to their own heads, and threated to kill themselves. The White House figured it was better to save them from themselves, and help to preserve a Republican majority.

The sealing of the records will allow the House and the White House to negotiate something that saves face for the Congress - probably a bunch of House lawyers going to the Justice Department to review the documents with DoJ lawyers, make sure that they are all responsive to the subpoena, and that the search was not too far-ranging. I bet that will happen inside of 45 days, and the House will be able to say that no precedent was established for the Executive to execute lawful search warrants in the offices of the Legislative Branch.

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