Wednesday, May 31, 2006

More Reasonable Voices on the Jefferson "Raid"

I'd have thought that this would have cooled down by now. But it appears that more Congressmen are twisting up their little tin-foil caps and charging into the fray.
The House intends to summon Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and FBI Director Robert Mueller before the Judiciary Committee to justify its search of a congressional office, the panel chairman said Tuesday.

The chairman, Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., called the search "profoundly disturbing."

Sensenbrenner also said he planned a legislative response to the search on May 20 of the office of Rep. William Jefferson, DLa. The bill would be patterned on a law limiting searches of news media offices.

"I think this law will help the Justice Department get it right next time because they didn't get it right this time," Sensenbrenner said as his committee heard from legal experts and a former lawmaker.
Yep, let's make a law that gives us special protections from obeying the law. I hope that people are taking note of these voices and decides on voting for more intelligent and honest people in the next election. Of course, finding an honest politician is like finding a talking rock.
All four witnesses, appearing Tuesday at an unusual hearing held during a congressional recess, described the search as a damaging breach of the constitutional separation of powers. They said it warranted an aggressive reaction from Congress, including subpoenaing material from Gonzales if necessary.
Ah, they'll subpoena documents from the AG! The AG subpoena'd documents from Jefferson, but he ignored the subpoena. You think the AG will be allowed to do the same?
"Some people have said you guys are just defending Jefferson, and I agree, if they're talking about Thomas Jefferson," Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas and a former state judge, said of the Founding Father's fears of potential intimidation of the legislative branch from elsewhere in government.
OK. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that this person is completely clueless. I would love to see their historical documentation that states that Thomas Jefferson thought the congress was above obeying the laws. They still seem to be looking at this as though the executive branch is tampering with the activities of congress and not trying to prosecute criminal acts. But then the legislative branch using intimidation tactics against officers of the other two branches seems to be an acceptable tactic for these politicos.
In a filing Tuesday, the Justice Department said returning the material to Jefferson, the subject of a criminal investigation, would subvert the principle that no one is above the law. Quoting a Supreme Court ruling, the department said that returning the material, which includes two boxes of documents and items copied from a computer hard drive, is "inconsistent with the bedrock principle that ‘the laws of this country allow no place or employment as a sanctuary for crime."’
I'd say that's reasonable. But what do I know? Obviously I don't know the secret handshake or have a special pin that gives me privileges above those of any other citizen. But our congressional overlords shouldn't be subject to criminal investigations I suppose. At least that's the logic that seems to spring from this discussion.

Then you get to hear the best logic, and almost not reported quote.
One lawmaker on the Judiciary Committee said Gonzales’ refusal to explain why he authorized the search may be grounds for impeachment by Congress.
"All options have to be left open," Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., told reporters after the hearing. Gonzales must "explain to our satisfaction how this is not going to happen again or how it was somehow justified."
Issa said at the hearing that Congress has the power to impeach Gonzales and U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan, who issued the search warrant. He said that if Sensenbrenner had raised the impeachment possibility, "more members would quickly be here."
"Not yet," Sensenbrenner said. Later, he told reporters there were no plans to consider impeachment of Gonzales.

I only found one article in a google news search that had this quote. Maybe there will be more, but this is the only one I've seen.

So how is calling for the impeachment of the AG to be viewed? Reasonable? I'd like to know the legal basis for such a call. Doesn't there require some illegal activity for an impeachment? I haven't seen proof of illegal actions on the part of the the AG or the judge. It almost sounds like congress is threatening the law enforcement agencies of the country.

I can't wait to see where all this goes. I'm certain there will be some committee meeting where the congressmen will get to belittle and screech at the AG and the judge in public and prove beyond all shadow of a doubt that they are completely out of their minds.

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