Judge: Jefferson Raid Legal
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Today the Associated Press reports U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan ruled that a controverisal raid on Congressman Jefferson’s (D-LA) office was legal.
Hogan made clear that politicians were not above the law and went so far as to note the dire implications if Jefferson’s interpration of the Speech or Debate clause were to hold true:
Congressman Jefferson’s interpretation of the Speech or Debate privilege would have the effect of converting every congressional office into a taxpayer-subsidized sanctuary for crime. Such a result is not supported by the Constitution or judicial precedent and will not be adopted here.
Thank goodness Jefferson’s legal arguments held no sway over this judge. Read Judge Hogan’s 28-page memorandum for the full picture of the case.
If you don’t remember, Jefferson has been under investigation for over a year for alleged fraud and bribery. Less than a month after the raid, he was stripped of his committee membership of the House Ways and Means Committee.
The FBI conducted the raid on Saturday, May 20, 2006, angering politicians on both sides of the aisle including the Majority and Minority House Leaders. House anger and frustration over the raid filtered on up to President Bush who brokered a 45-day “cooling off” period between the House and Justice Department.