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Hastert lashes out at Justice Dept.
AP on Yahoo ^ | 5/25/06 | Laurie Kellman - ap

Posted on 05/25/2006 12:24:16 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

WASHINGTON - House Speaker Dennis Hastert accused the Justice Department Thursday of trying to intimidate him in retaliation for criticizing the FBI's weekend raid on a congressman's office, escalating a searing battle between the executive and legislative branches of government.

"This is one of the leaks that come out to try to, you know, intimidate people," Hastert said on WGN radio Thursday morning. "We're just not going to be intimidated on it."

Asked later Thursday whether he thought he Justice Department retaliated against him with the leak, Hastert replied: "All I'm saying is, here are the dots. People can connect any dots they want to."

"I thought it was an interesting sequence of events," he added.

The Illinois Republican, in his interview with the Chicago radio station, was responding to an ABC News report that quoted an unnamed law enforcement source as saying that he was "in the mix" of the Justice Department's investigation into influence peddling by convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

"We are not going to dignify or speculate about the motives of anonymous sources providing inaccurate information," said Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse.

Within minutes of that report late Wednesday, the department issued the first of two denials that it was investigating Hastert. The speaker demanded a retraction from ABC News, which stood by its story. Hastert on Thursday threatened to sue the network and reporters and executives for libel and defamation.

"We will take any and all actions necessary to rectify the harm ABC has caused and to hold those at ABC responsible for their conduct," wrote Hastert's counsels, J. Randolph Evans and Stefan C. Passantino. The letter was addressed to network President David Westin and reporter Brian Ross.

"Our response to the letter is our reporting on the story," said ABC News Vice President Jeffrey Schneider.

Correspondent Brian Ross stood by his report, saying he has checked with his sources who say the story accurately represents the facts "as they know them."

"There's enough there for them (the FBI) to take a look at the speaker" and other members of Congress, Ross said in an interview.

Hastert aimed his broadsides at the Justice Department amid a swirl of recriminations on Capitol Hill, including warnings by some lawmakers of a voter backlash against members of Congress "trying to protect their own."

Hastert's aides, at the same time, were in talks with the White House about the possible transfer of material seized by the FBI during its weekend raid of the office of Rep. William Jefferson (news, bio, voting record), perhaps to the House ethics committee, according to several Republican officials.

A federal law enforcement official said no computers were taken during the search. Instead, "mirror images" were made of the contents of some computers in Jefferson's office, the official said on condition of anonymity because the items taken during the search remain under court seal

The goals of any transfer, they said, would be to deny the documents both to prosecutors and to Jefferson, a Louisiana Democrat ensnared in a bribery investigation, until the legal issues surrounding the weekend search of his office are resolved. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the confidential nature of the discussions.

Historians said it was the first such search of a congressman's quarters in the more than two centuries since the first Congress convened.

The White House continued to try to keep its distance publicly, saying it acknowledged "the constitutional concerns" expressed.

The House Judiciary Committee chairman, GOP Rep. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, announced a hearing next week, "Reckless Justice: Did the Saturday Night Raid of Congress Trample the Constitution?"

The Associated Press reported last November that Hastert for two years did not disclose his use of Abramoff's restaurant for a fundraiser just two weeks before he asked the Interior Department in a letter to reject a Louisiana Indian tribe's application for a casino license.

At the time, Abramoff was representing another tribe that opposed the casino. Hastert, who collected a total of $100,000 from Abramoff's and his tribal clients, blamed a paperwork oversight, filed the required disclosure and paid for the use of the restaurant.

___

AP Special Correspondent David Espo contributed to this report.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; Politics/Elections; US: Illinois
KEYWORDS: 109th; doj; hastert; justicedept; lashesout; probe; williamjefferson
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House Speaker Dennis Hastert leaves the House Republican Conference meeting on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, May 24, 2006. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)


1 posted on 05/25/2006 12:24:17 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

Sellout.


2 posted on 05/25/2006 12:25:46 PM PDT by yobid (Where's the National Guard?)
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To: NormsRevenge

It's about time Denny tried the grapefruit diet for a few weeks.


3 posted on 05/25/2006 12:27:03 PM PDT by petercooper (Cemeteries & the ignorant - comprising 2 of the largest Democrat voting blocs for the past 75 years.)
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To: NormsRevenge
Historians said it was the first such search of a congressman's quarters in the more than two centuries since the first Congress convened.

Now that's a shame.

4 posted on 05/25/2006 12:27:18 PM PDT by Wolfie
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To: NormsRevenge
Looks = duck

walks = duck

talks = duck

Hastert: "What duck?"

5 posted on 05/25/2006 12:28:41 PM PDT by maine-iac7 (Lincoln: "...but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.")
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To: petercooper

The grapefruit are hidden in his jowls.


6 posted on 05/25/2006 12:28:51 PM PDT by verity (The MSM is comprised of useless eaters)
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To: NormsRevenge

It sure looks like Denny wants to be minority "leader" next year.


7 posted on 05/25/2006 12:29:03 PM PDT by steveegg (If the illegals would turn Mexico Red if they were forced there, why wouldn't they do that here?)
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To: NormsRevenge

Sounds to me like Hastert and others are getting a bit worried about potential exposure -- why do you think the Clintons went for the FBI files, almost immediately after taking office??? Yes, the dirt in those files could hang ALOT of Congress ---


8 posted on 05/25/2006 12:29:34 PM PDT by EagleUSA
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To: NormsRevenge

The Republican leadership in Congress appears absolutely determined to blow the next election.


9 posted on 05/25/2006 12:29:46 PM PDT by Argus
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To: NormsRevenge

I still find it disconcerting that Hastert is defending William Jefferson (D-La). Abe Lincoln said that "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." As it stands now in Congress, most are failing this test, including Hastert. He's been in Congress for 20 years and is a prime example of why we need term limits.


10 posted on 05/25/2006 12:32:57 PM PDT by Barney Gumble (A liberal is someone too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel - Robert Frost)
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To: NormsRevenge

Hastert is being played. The DOJ categorically denies that he's being investigated. Someone wanted him to go ballistic against the DOJ, hence the "leak."

Who do you imagine has a motive to make the Speaker look stupid?

Hmm???


11 posted on 05/25/2006 12:34:48 PM PDT by filbert (More filbert at http://www.medary.com)
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To: NormsRevenge

The House Judiciary Committee chairman, GOP Rep. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, announced a hearing next week, "Reckless Justice: Did the Saturday Night Raid of Congress Trample the Constitution?"

---

aw geeeez, Louizse.


12 posted on 05/25/2006 12:35:04 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi - "The Road to Peace in the Middle East runs thru Damascus.")
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To: NormsRevenge

Hastert's quick reaction to this sure gives the impression of guilt. I wonder what is hidden in his office?


13 posted on 05/25/2006 12:35:44 PM PDT by WesternPacific
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To: NormsRevenge
1. A Congressman's office is NOT a diplomatic bag.

2. Clinton v. Jones applies by analogy.

3. If the DoJ isn't investigating Hastert right now, they should be.

14 posted on 05/25/2006 12:36:25 PM PDT by Gordongekko909 (I know. Let's cut his WHOLE BODY off.)
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To: yobid
It is not a sellout. The whole damn bunch are crooks and no matter how they fight in public they all sleep in the same bed. Congress and all of our elected officials tell us they are public servants and nothing is farther from the truth. They act like they are Kings and Queens and dictate to us commoners. Regardless of what they say they are above the law and it is our fault. They need to be viewed suspiciously and held to much higher standards than the ordinary public but they are not We have a Congress full of crooks and they use their office to steal and manipulate. It is high time to put a stop to this mess.
15 posted on 05/25/2006 12:37:12 PM PDT by gunnedah
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To: NormsRevenge

Hey Den-
Why is it okay for the FBI and the IRS to execute searches and anal exams on us hard working taxing paying Americans whenever and whereever they see fit, but it's not okay for them to raid one of you "above the law types" (read Congressmans') Office. I thought the Contract with America was going to make sure that you folks were living under the same laws you passed for us-like ADA compliance for your offices and facilities.
If Jefferson had 10 lbs of coke, or kiddie porn in his office I guess you wouldn't want them going in there for that either.
You need to get an F'in clue-YOU ARE NOT ABOVE THE LAW. (well unless you're a drunk or drugged up Kennedy)


16 posted on 05/25/2006 12:39:37 PM PDT by mrmargaritaville
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To: NormsRevenge

There's the hook to get Sensenbrenner kicked off the conference committee on the amnesty bill. Damn it, Jim!


17 posted on 05/25/2006 12:39:50 PM PDT by steveegg (If the illegals would turn Mexico Red if they were forced there, why wouldn't they do that here?)
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To: gunnedah

I heard THAT!


18 posted on 05/25/2006 12:39:56 PM PDT by yobid (Where's the National Guard?)
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To: NormsRevenge

Fatso finally gets excited about something. What a piece of sh!t


19 posted on 05/25/2006 12:41:49 PM PDT by Nonstatist
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To: NormsRevenge

Dennis, there are many of us out here that think you a wonk.
As you open your pie hole on this matter you only confirm this fact.
I wouldn't follow Dennis Hastert to the bathroom if I really really had to go. I don't think he could lead the way even if he'd been there a few times before.


20 posted on 05/25/2006 12:41:54 PM PDT by Joe Boucher (an enemy of islam)
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To: NormsRevenge

Hastert is a piece of crap. He tried numerous times to torpedo Coburn's Senate run in Oklahoma in addition to several other conservative GOP candidates in 2004.


21 posted on 05/25/2006 12:44:43 PM PDT by Minus_The_Bear
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To: NormsRevenge
Aren't we a fine example to fledging democracies? However, if they look beyond the coming headlines they will see that we will come through this "Constitutional crisis" without resorting to 3rd world methods.

That said, I don't see where it is a Constitutional crisis. I've read and re-read that section like a lot of you and nowhere does it say a Congress member's office is sacred and off-limits to law.

22 posted on 05/25/2006 12:46:58 PM PDT by daybreakcoming (If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. A. Lincoln)
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To: NormsRevenge
Correspondent Brian Ross stood by his report, saying he has checked with his sources who say the story accurately represents the facts "as they know them."

A caller today in the first hour of the Rush Limbaugh pointed out that Brian Ross was tossed at NBC several years ago for fabricating evidence in a story concerning pick up gas tank fires/explosions that occurred frequently in accidents.

23 posted on 05/25/2006 12:50:39 PM PDT by BluH2o
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To: NormsRevenge

Term limits are starting to look pretty good about now...


24 posted on 05/25/2006 12:53:41 PM PDT by Edgerunner (Proud to be an infidel)
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To: NormsRevenge

The whole Republican party is self destructing with leadership like this critter. Cover up for a crook of Jefferson's stature makes me think others have things to hide.


25 posted on 05/25/2006 1:01:06 PM PDT by tiger63
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To: NormsRevenge

Ahh so Hastert got so upset because he is under investigation with Abramhoff, that explains that doesn't it?


26 posted on 05/25/2006 1:03:25 PM PDT by stopem (God Bless the U.S.A. and the Troops who protect her.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Fat Hastert: "GET IN MY BELLY !!"

27 posted on 05/25/2006 1:03:54 PM PDT by OB1kNOb (This is no time for bleeding hearts, pacifists, and appeasers to prevail in free world opinion.)
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To: daybreakcoming

I agree, I fail to see the constitutional crisis argument either, the offer was made, the baiter took the bait, got caught, on tape , and cold handed so to speak. The law does not have to offer that person any special accommodations in the least , regardless who they represent or where they work.

--

re:
Aren't we a fine example to fledging democracies?

Heck , for the Taiwanese, gubamint deliberations is full ocntact occasionally.. or how about the Texas dem reps that left town a couple years back.


28 posted on 05/25/2006 1:04:17 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi - "The Road to Peace in the Middle East runs thru Damascus.")
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To: NormsRevenge

This thread looks a lot like DU.


29 posted on 05/25/2006 1:04:50 PM PDT by Siena Dreaming
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To: BluH2o

I think, but I'm not sure, that I heard Rush state a correction about that later on...


30 posted on 05/25/2006 1:06:04 PM PDT by Zeppo
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To: Siena Dreaming

I never frequent there, make sure ya wiped your feet before ya came in here. ;-)



31 posted on 05/25/2006 1:20:29 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi - "The Road to Peace in the Middle East runs thru Damascus.")
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To: NormsRevenge
If the FBI is good enough for me, it's good enough for Congress. Congress is elected to serve, not be above the law. Is the United States a nation of the rule of law, or of the rule of lawmakersbreakers?
32 posted on 05/25/2006 1:20:58 PM PDT by auboy
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To: yobid

Lets investigate the investigators investigating the contressmen investigating investigations investigating ..................spam spam spam spam spam


33 posted on 05/25/2006 1:21:08 PM PDT by DManA
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To: NormsRevenge
I never frequent there, make sure ya wiped your feet before ya came in here. ;-)

I don't frequent there either.

Been there briefly once or twice.

This thread reminds me of it. Actually, I think I need to wipe my feet lately after being on FR.

34 posted on 05/25/2006 1:24:40 PM PDT by Siena Dreaming
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To: steveegg
It sure looks like Denny wants to be minority "leader" next year.

Denny couldn't lead sailors to a whorehouse.

35 posted on 05/25/2006 1:27:54 PM PDT by steve-b (A desire not to butt into other people's business is eighty percent of all human wisdom)
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To: gunnedah

You are totally right. I'm through voting for anybody in these two parties.

Take a look at the Constitution Party; they are what a major party should be: concerned about our Republic. Enforcing the laws, cutting this incredible spending, and returning government to the people.

I am one voter, but we must make a start. The two parties simply don't work for the people. Stop voting for them!


36 posted on 05/25/2006 1:28:03 PM PDT by kjo
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To: daybreakcoming

What an appropiate tag-line! I've got to dig out more of Abe's quotations, that one's a gem!


37 posted on 05/25/2006 1:42:02 PM PDT by Eighth Square
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To: NormsRevenge

"That Bitch set me up!"


38 posted on 05/25/2006 2:06:02 PM PDT by lone star annie
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To: NormsRevenge

You know, it could be the first time because, up until now, as crooked as they have been, no congressperson has ever stooped to using their office space to commit crimes -- because they had respect for the office.

I wish some reporter would do some real investigation and find out if there has ever been a previous REQUEST to get data by subpoena that was refused by the member.


39 posted on 05/25/2006 2:09:06 PM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: steve-b
Why do you think I put "leader" in quotes.

If it weren't for the Chicago Machine, Hastert would be much more at home in the Senate; that's where all his heroes are.

40 posted on 05/25/2006 2:14:56 PM PDT by steveegg (If the illegals would turn Mexico Red if they were forced there, why wouldn't they do that here?)
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To: Eighth Square
This is a portion of speech he wrote that I drew my tag line out of....
" "At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years. At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide. "
41 posted on 05/25/2006 2:19:44 PM PDT by daybreakcoming (If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. A. Lincoln)
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To: WesternPacific
Hastert's quick reaction to this sure gives the impression of guilt.

It sure doesn't.

42 posted on 05/25/2006 2:30:00 PM PDT by Stentor
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To: kjo
I am one voter, but we must make a start.

If i don't get there, you know what to do.

43 posted on 05/25/2006 2:31:07 PM PDT by Stentor
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To: tiger63
Cover up for a crook of Jefferson's stature makes me think others have things to hide.

It amazes me that you can torture logic with such ease.

44 posted on 05/25/2006 2:33:52 PM PDT by Stentor
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To: NormsRevenge

Dennis you're proving, CONGRESS IS ABOVE THE LAW...oh well we already knew that.


45 posted on 05/25/2006 2:34:15 PM PDT by shield (A wise man's heart is at his RIGHT hand; but a fool's heart at his LEFT. Ecc. 10:2)
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To: shield

Separation of Powers arguments are totally misplaced here. Nothing about sequestering evidence of a crime in your Congressional office has anything to do with the official duties and powers of the congress vis-a-vis the official duties and powers of the executive branch.


46 posted on 05/25/2006 2:38:37 PM PDT by Wally_Kalbacken
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To: Siena Dreaming
"This thread looks a lot like DU."

Why on earth would that be?

47 posted on 05/25/2006 2:45:30 PM PDT by EverOnward
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To: NormsRevenge
Apparently Dennis has gone completely over the edge. Does he seriously believe that someone at Justice thought long and hard about how to punish him for being a jerk. And then convinced his or her superior to go along with it? It is probably time for our elected official to go home more often and see what reality is like
48 posted on 05/25/2006 2:50:01 PM PDT by thile44
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To: NormsRevenge

The reaction of Congress to the FBI executing a search warrant on William Jefferson is appalling and frightening. The search warrant was issued by a member of the judicial branch, so obviously there was no violation of the separation of powers. Congress displayed an arrogant, imperious attitude, which should have remained an historical characteristic of the 1934 Reichstag.


49 posted on 05/25/2006 2:50:49 PM PDT by Retain Mike
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To: tiger63
Perhaps his biggest fear is Justice knocking at his door.
50 posted on 05/25/2006 2:59:12 PM PDT by thile44 (Simplicity is too complex.)
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