Skip to comments.Federal Court Rules FBI Raid on Rep. William Jefferson's Office Unconstitutional
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 ...
How much do you want to bet this was a Clinton appointed judge?
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...
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.
Ginsburg and Henderson are both Republicans; Rogers is a Clinton appointee who once worked in the Nixon Administration.
It was decided by a three judge panel. Two of the three judges are Pubbies.
"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."
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?
Of course. Says so right there in the constitution, “Congressional felons are above the law.” Bribery? What bribery?
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)!
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.
So what is with the headline? What is this, a John Kerry before and after moment?
He’s a black Democrat. You shouldn’t try the same thing.
They only care about the constitution when they think they can manipulate it to their own advantage.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
I didn’t mean to seem like I was saying that this was already posted, but it included some analysis of the misleading reporting.
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.
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!).
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....
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]
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.
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.
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!
Here’s the ruling:
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.
Oh...Who's payroll are they on?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Oh...Who's payroll are they on?
I hear an echo...
Not the Presidents Fur Shur.
Let me make it simple for you..Congress is not on the Federal payroll?
Yes or no?
Ummm, yas! I perceive that congressman Jefferson is a upstanding citizen. No doubt in my mind!!
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).
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.
Who's payroll are they on?