Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Federal Court Rules FBI Raid on Rep. William Jefferson's Office Unconstitutional
AP ^ | 8/3/07

Posted on 08/03/2007 3:34:45 PM PDT by Revel

WASHINGTON — The FBI violated the Constitution when agents raided U.S. Rep. William Jefferson's office last year and viewed legislative documents in a corruption investigation, a federal appeals court ruled Friday.

The court ordered the Justice Department to return any legislative documents it seized from the Louisiana Democrat's office on Capitol Hill. The court did not order the return of all the documents seized in the raid and did not say whether prosecutors could use any of the records against Jefferson in their bribery case.

Jefferson argued that the first-of-its-kind raid trampled congressional independence. The Constitution prohibits the executive branch from using its law enforcement powers to interfere with the lawmaking process. The Justice Department said that declaring the search unconstitutional would essentially prohibit the FBI from ever looking at a lawmaker's documents.

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 110th; coldcash; dollarbill; fbi; threadnumber5; williamjefferson
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-89 next last

1 posted on 08/03/2007 3:34:47 PM PDT by Revel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Revel

How much do you want to bet this was a Clinton appointed judge?


2 posted on 08/03/2007 3:36:12 PM PDT by Morgan in Denver
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Revel
This is the Federal employee whom they found $90,000 in his freezer after video taping him take a bribed from foreigners?

And he's still walking around free while our border patrol officers sit in prison after shooting an illegal alien drug smuggler.

Is anyone surprised?

I hope the ruling elite keep this crap up in DC until the entire country is so fed up with this corruption that...

3 posted on 08/03/2007 3:40:23 PM PDT by dragnet2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Revel

The way I understand this, the ruling only applies to the legislative papers that did not directly apply to the search. This appears to be a fairly narrow ruling here, and ought not be interpreted as a victory for Jefferson in any way.


4 posted on 08/03/2007 3:41:18 PM PDT by Bean Counter (Stout Hearts...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Revel
The case was considered by Chief Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg, Judge Karen Lecraft Henderson and Judge Judith W. Rogers.

Ginsburg and Henderson are both Republicans; Rogers is a Clinton appointee who once worked in the Nixon Administration.

5 posted on 08/03/2007 3:41:37 PM PDT by Alter Kaker (Gravitation is a theory, not a fact. It should be approached with an open mind...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Morgan in Denver
How much do you want to bet this was a Clinton appointed judge?

See #5

It was decided by a three judge panel. Two of the three judges are Pubbies.

6 posted on 08/03/2007 3:42:28 PM PDT by Alter Kaker (Gravitation is a theory, not a fact. It should be approached with an open mind...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Morgan in Denver
From the linked article:

"The case was considered by Chief Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg, Judge Karen Lecraft Henderson and Judge Judith W. Rogers. Ginsburg and Rogers served in the Justice Department and Henderson served as deputy South Carolina attorney general. None of the judges served in the legislative branch, though Rogers was counsel to a congressional commission formed to review Washington's municipal structure. Ginsburg and Henderson were appointed by Republican presidents, Rogers by a Democrat."

7 posted on 08/03/2007 3:44:19 PM PDT by blaquebyrd (Bill O'Reilly is a lying fraud)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Bean Counter
and ought not be interpreted as a victory for Jefferson in any way.

Tell me, is he in prison? Didn't this occur about 2 years ago? Didn't they find $90,000 in cash in the man's freezer?

He's still a free man? How's that work?

8 posted on 08/03/2007 3:44:33 PM PDT by dragnet2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Bean Counter
Yep, that’s how I read it as well. Very narrow, only has to return any privileged constituent documents, which is what the FBI said they screened out in the first place. In the end it may mean nothing.
9 posted on 08/03/2007 3:45:11 PM PDT by Tarpon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Revel

Of course. Says so right there in the constitution, “Congressional felons are above the law.” Bribery? What bribery?


10 posted on 08/03/2007 3:45:23 PM PDT by Jim Robinson (Our God-given unalienable rights are not open to debate, negotiation or compromise!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Revel

Unlike we lowly scum, the elitist politicians are above the law. They are better than the rest of us. These so-called “judges” say so. Don’t give me the “Constitutional” crap. These “judges” haven’t got a clue about what is in the Constitution. They are just protecting the hideouts of their political pals. Politicians need a safe place, that is off limits to the law, where they can stash their loot (and other things)!


11 posted on 08/03/2007 3:48:16 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (You know you are a great American when a Kennedy calls you a traitor.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Revel

Fox actually has the headline wrong. The search was constitutional, portions of the seizure weren’t. In the future, they could do essentially the same thing, but instead of reading the documents, scoop them up and take them to a judge for review.


12 posted on 08/03/2007 3:49:04 PM PDT by ArmstedFragg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Revel
The court held that, while the search itself was constitutional,

So what is with the headline? What is this, a John Kerry before and after moment?

13 posted on 08/03/2007 3:49:43 PM PDT by taxesareforever (Never forget Matt Maupin)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dragnet2
“How’s that work?”

He’s a black Democrat. You shouldn’t try the same thing.

14 posted on 08/03/2007 3:50:13 PM PDT by vetsvette (Bring Him Back)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Jim Robinson

They only care about the constitution when they think they can manipulate it to their own advantage.


15 posted on 08/03/2007 3:50:13 PM PDT by Revel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Revel

But nobody violated the Constitution when over 900 FBI files were taken to the White House.

I guess it’s true. Nobody does hear that tree in the forest.


16 posted on 08/03/2007 3:52:32 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (Victory will never be achieved while defining Conservatism downward, and forsaking it's heritage.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ArmstedFragg
"Fox actually has the headline wrong. The search was constitutional, portions of the seizure weren’t. In the future, they could do essentially the same thing, but instead of reading the documents, scoop them up and take them to a judge for review."

This is how I read the decision. If any of the non-privileged documents seized constitute evidence against Jefferson this decision does not make them inadmissible and does not provide Jefferson with any basis for a motion to supress at trial. The ruling doesn't really help him at all - any documents considered privileged under ruling are clearly not what the Justice Dept. was looking for in the first place.

17 posted on 08/03/2007 3:55:35 PM PDT by joebuck
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Revel

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1875967/posts


18 posted on 08/03/2007 3:55:43 PM PDT by Perdogg (Cheney for President 2008)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alter Kaker

For what it’s worth, so are Schwarzenegger and a number of Congressmen and Senators I wouldn’t give you a plug nickle for. I’m not going to completely damn this decision though at this point.

Isn’t it interesting though how much transperancy there needs to be when the left is talking about the current White House occupants.


19 posted on 08/03/2007 3:56:41 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (Victory will never be achieved while defining Conservatism downward, and forsaking it's heritage.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: FlingWingFlyer
Unlike we lowly scum, the elitist politicians are above the law.

You bet,

Jefferson was videotaped by the FBI receiving $100,000 worth of $100 bills at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Arlington, Virginia. They got him on tape saying he would need to give Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar $500,000 "as a motivating factor.

A subsequent raid found $90,000 of the cash in his freezer, wrapped in aluminum foil.

Over two years ago? This Federal employee is still walking around free?

How does this work?

20 posted on 08/03/2007 3:57:55 PM PDT by dragnet2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Alter Kaker

Ginsberg was appointed to the Supreme Court by Reagan, but withdrew after a college buddy told the press that he had smoked pot decades in the past.


21 posted on 08/03/2007 3:57:57 PM PDT by krb (If you're not outraged, people probably like having you around.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Perdogg

Sorry. I even put “William Jefferson” in the search engine and your article did not come up. It is hard sometimes to know what to search for with the various different possibilities in article titles.


22 posted on 08/03/2007 3:59:08 PM PDT by Revel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Revel

I didn’t mean to seem like I was saying that this was already posted, but it included some analysis of the misleading reporting.


23 posted on 08/03/2007 4:01:21 PM PDT by Perdogg (Cheney for President 2008)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Alter Kaker

I don’t think there is much to this. Jefferson stole 90k and it was in his freezer. How he voted on a bill is irrelevant and shouldn’t be part of a search.

Of course if they found the 90k in his office, now that is a whole different story.


24 posted on 08/03/2007 4:02:22 PM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (The Democrat Party: "Everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: dragnet2

It sure didn’t take them this long to put Cunningham in prison. I guess they are afraid that the “media” will label them as racist bigots if they don’t play with kid gloves with Jefferson (DEMOCRAT! LOUISIANA!).


25 posted on 08/03/2007 4:02:48 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (You know you are a great American when a Kennedy calls you a traitor.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Revel

Interesting...

But does nothing to stop the process of bringing charges based upon the cash found in his home. It may take away some evidence that may have been in his office that would support the charges....


26 posted on 08/03/2007 4:03:42 PM PDT by deport ( Cue Spooky Music...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Revel

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0408_0501_ZS.html

Held:

1. This Court has jurisdiction under 18 U.S.C. § 3731 (1964 ed., Supp. V) to hear the appeal, since the District Court’s order was based upon its determination of the constitutional invalidity of 18 U.S.C. §§ 201(c)(1) and 201(g) on the facts as alleged in the indictment. Pp. 50507.

2. The prosecution of appellee is not prohibited by the Speech or Debate Clause. Although that provision protects Members of Congress from inquiry into legislative acts or the motivation for performance of such acts, United States v. Johnson, 383 U.S. 169, 185, it does not protect all conduct relating to the legislative process. Since, in this case, prosecution of the bribery charges does not necessitate inquiry into legislative acts or motivation, the District Court erred in holding that the Speech or Debate Clause required dismissal of the indictment. Pp. 507-529.

Reversed and remanded.

BURGER, C.J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which STEWART, MARSHALL, BLACKMUN, POWELL, and REHNQUIST, JJ., joined. BRENNAN, J., filed a dissenting opinion in which DOUGLAS J., joined, post, p. 529. WHITE, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which DOUGLAS and BRENNAN, JJ., joined, post, p. 551. [p502]


27 posted on 08/03/2007 4:06:07 PM PDT by Perdogg (Cheney for President 2008)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: vetsvette
He’s a black Democrat. You shouldn’t try the same thing.

Are you kidding? I once shorted the Feds $77.85 on a tax return, and they reacted with a telephone call from some government hack with a punitive tone, then a threat letter etc. You'd think I just attempted to overthrow the government. It was really funny when I laughed in this guys face over the telephone, as he became more threatening.

And they have this guy on video tape taking bribes from foreigners, find $90,000 in his freezer two years ago? And he's free today?

Obviously this guy has even more evidence of corruption on others in D.C.

28 posted on 08/03/2007 4:07:25 PM PDT by dragnet2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: dragnet2

He is a free man because he has not stood trial yet, or has that basic Constitutional right been waived in his case??

We may not like the pace, but we must follow the law.


29 posted on 08/03/2007 4:09:06 PM PDT by Bean Counter (Stout Hearts...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: dragnet2
Members of Congress are NOT federal employees as that term is ordinarily understood.

I know it's hard for the royalists and fascists in FR to get it through their heads on this one but the President does not own Congress!

30 posted on 08/03/2007 4:13:36 PM PDT by muawiyah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Morgan in Denver

Here’s the ruling:

http://pacer.cadc.uscourts.gov/docs/common/opinions/200708/06-3105a.pdf


31 posted on 08/03/2007 4:14:17 PM PDT by avacado
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: FlingWingFlyer


Stupid-AssCrats……………Lots of Baggage!
32 posted on 08/03/2007 4:14:39 PM PDT by knyteflyte3 (Freedom is not for FREE)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Bean Counter

Whether or not it’s a victory for Jefferson, it’s a mortal blow to the careers of the FBI agents who concocted this BS.


33 posted on 08/03/2007 4:14:47 PM PDT by muawiyah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: muawiyah
Members of Congress are NOT federal employees as that term is ordinarily understood.

Oh...Who's payroll are they on?

34 posted on 08/03/2007 4:16:16 PM PDT by dragnet2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Jim Robinson
It says so in the Constitution that the King is not empowered to raid the Congressional precincts.

Now I know it takes a lot of words to get that idea across to some, but all it would have taken is for the FBI to have convinced Hastert that a raid should be made and he'd approved it.

He's the Constitutional officer in charge of the House of Representatives, and he takes care of the housekeeping, and answers the doors too.

I'd encourage anyone who still have qualms to take their complaint to the Nancy woman ~ see what she says.

35 posted on 08/03/2007 4:18:29 PM PDT by muawiyah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Revel
The headline is very misleading...the ruling was limited to a certain protected class of documents that must now be returned...I just hope the FBI cleaning lady accidentally made copies before she spilled the bleach on them:-)
36 posted on 08/03/2007 4:19:34 PM PDT by crazyhorse691 (The faithful will keep their heads down, their powder dry and hammer at the enemies flanks.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dragnet2
Whose payroll?

Not the Presidents Fur Shur.

Someday I'd suggest you take a stroll through our Constitution. Check out the part about the Executive Branch, the Legislative Branch, the Judicial Branch.

Note who's on first, who's on second, who gets to be Commander in Chief.

Now, read closely about the parts concerning who does what to whom.

Then get back to me.

37 posted on 08/03/2007 4:23:36 PM PDT by muawiyah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Revel

This title is very misleading. The Court did not rule that the search was unconstitutional - only that they were not allowed to search his sensitive legislative papers.


38 posted on 08/03/2007 4:23:39 PM PDT by Hoodat (The Stalinists control the House with an iron fist.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Revel
Without reading all the posts, my 2 cents are, this means ANY congressman can operate a criminal enterprise from their congressional offices and NOT BE SUBJECT TO THE SAME LAWS AS THE REST OF US. Namely, the laws that permit the raiding of domiciles under probable cause and court order. Congressional offices should NEVER be exempt from the Constitution.
39 posted on 08/03/2007 4:24:24 PM PDT by hophead ("Enjoy Every Sandwich")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Revel
From the story:

The court held that, while the search itself was constitutional, FBI agents crossed the line when they viewed every record in the office without giving Jefferson the chance to argue that some documents involved legislative business.

Naturally, the AP headline is a fraud.

40 posted on 08/03/2007 4:24:30 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Hoodat
As I predicted the decision would not be made concerning the issue of whether or not Jefferson was a crook (or immune some way from the law). Rather, the documents (and anything else having to do with the existence, operation or business of Congress) would be the target.

This ruling is very damaging to the FBI ~ if the FBI has become so dependent on raiding Congressional offices that it can no longer work a fraud case.

Wouldn't be surprised that the FBI can no longer function without black bag jobs.

41 posted on 08/03/2007 4:26:18 PM PDT by muawiyah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: muawiyah

Yes, the Constitution says that Congressman may run criminal enterprises from the safe haven of their congressional offices, and there’s nothing anybody can do about it.


42 posted on 08/03/2007 4:27:47 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Revel

I guess seeing someone in public office taking bribes (on video) is not probable cause, yet a simple exchange of a small package on a parking lot is?


43 posted on 08/03/2007 4:28:23 PM PDT by TheBattman (I've got TWO QUESTIONS for you....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dragnet2
Obviously this guy has even more evidence of corruption on others in D.C.

As I recall even the sitting speaker of the house at the time a(mostly useless)repub named hastert screamed mightily when the FBI raided jeffro's office. And he wasn't the only one who acted like they(house members) were above such actions.
44 posted on 08/03/2007 4:29:11 PM PDT by snuffy smiff (impeachment-it's not just for democraps anymore.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: muawiyah
Members of Congress are NOT federal employees as that term is ordinarily understood.

Oh...Who's payroll are they on?

Whose payroll?

I hear an echo...

Not the Presidents Fur Shur.

No..they aren't.

Let me make it simple for you..Congress is not on the Federal payroll?

Yes or no?

45 posted on 08/03/2007 4:33:11 PM PDT by dragnet2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Revel

Ummm, yas! I perceive that congressman Jefferson is a upstanding citizen. No doubt in my mind!!


46 posted on 08/03/2007 4:33:44 PM PDT by davisfh
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: snuffy smiff

You bet.


47 posted on 08/03/2007 4:33:50 PM PDT by dragnet2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: Lancey Howard
Whether they can or not the court said the raid itself wasn't unconstitution ~ merely meaning that presumably raids could be conducted ~ but the materials taken weren't all of a nature that can be taken. The court wasn't asked to describe how a raid could be conducted on a Congressional office where protected and unprotected materials may well be intermixed, but that's for a later day and a different court (the Supreme Court). You will notice, though, that Jefferson was unable to wrap around himself the protections applicable to Congress.

Which means, of course, that constituent letters were untouchable as were secret messages from the then Democrat majority leader in the House, or other Democrat caucus officers.

FBI didn't care ~ they read your mail anyway. It's still yours years after you send it to somebody you know.

Did they get a warrant on probable cause that your correspondence to this guy was part of a crime?

What you have here is a court that made the minimum decision possible to allow the cops to look at some of Jefferson's stuff while not also suggesting that the cops broke the law and should be punished (which is what I think the Supreme Court will say whenever it gets this or a similar case).

48 posted on 08/03/2007 4:34:14 PM PDT by muawiyah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: dragnet2
They are not "employees". They are Representatives and Senators. They are NOT subject to the civil service laws nor to dismissal by the President.

Members of a corporate Board of Directors are also not generally considered company employees although they may well receive payment from the company.

BTW, you don't own every Representative, just the one who represents you.

49 posted on 08/03/2007 4:36:58 PM PDT by muawiyah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: muawiyah
OOOOOne more time...

Who's payroll are they on?

50 posted on 08/03/2007 4:38:50 PM PDT by dragnet2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-89 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson