Monday, July 10, 2006

Judge Hogan: Jefferson Raid Legal

Roll Call reports:

Judge Rules Against Jefferson: A federal judge has denied a legal motion by Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) and a bipartisan group of House leaders seeking the return of materials seized by FBI agents in a May 20 raid on Jefferson’s Congressional office. The case will now move to a federal appeals court if Jefferson chooses to appeal. The Louisiana Democrat is at the center of a bribery and corruption probe by the Justice Department.

CNN notes that the 'cooling-off period' for the seized materials expired on Sunday, without any compromise between the White House and the Congress over what to do with the materials. While Judge Hogan has ruled that they will be turned over to the DoJ, the President has already shown that he wants to save the Congress from its own poor political instincts. Rest assured, DoJ will not take any action until the Congress and White House have considered next steps.

I have been very critical of House Republican leaders for going further than Democratic leaders in defending an apparent criminal. At least they have not gone forward with the hearings that were promised, to force Alberto Gonzalez to answer questions about this. Perhaps they have the sense to forego any appeal and settle this fight.

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