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Prosecutors Eyeing Wiretap Problems
AP via SFGate ^ | 9/21/7 | MATT APUZZO, Associated Press Writer

Posted on 09/21/2007 10:30:59 AM PDT by SmithL

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Justice Department is worried that a recent appeals court ruling could make it impossible to use wiretaps to investigate members of Congress in corruption cases.

If so, that could extend to the ongoing investigation of Sen. Ted Steven, R-Alaska. The Associated Press recently reported that the FBI used an Alaskan oil contractor to tape phone conversations with the powerful senator as part of a corruption sting.

In court documents filed last week, government attorneys asked the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to reconsider last month's decision regarding the FBI raid on the office of Rep. William Jefferson, D-La.

The government argues that the ruling that prosecutors overstepped their authority "threatens to complicate numerous ongoing and future investigations" and hinder the ability to use electronic surveillance.

The court held that FBI agents trampled on congressional independence during that raid because, even though they took only documents relevant to their bribery investigation, agents reviewed legislative documents in a Capitol Hill office. The Constitution prohibits the executive branch from interfering with legislative business.

The Jefferson case didn't deal with wiretaps, but if simply viewing legislative documents makes a search illegal, prosecutors could be prohibited from using wiretap evidence at trial if investigators happened to overhear legislative business.

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


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: cultureofcorruption; wiretap

1 posted on 09/21/2007 10:31:00 AM PDT by SmithL
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To: SmithL
It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native criminal class except Congress.

Mark Twain

2 posted on 09/21/2007 10:32:43 AM PDT by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: SmithL
It's hard for me to get worked up over this one. On one side, a bunch of government lawyers (the DOJ) are into it with another bunch of government lawyers (politicians). Seeing how I despise all government lawyers equally, either side winning means little to me.

Now I'd be overjoyed if someone could think up some way for both sides to lose.
3 posted on 09/21/2007 10:34:23 AM PDT by JamesP81
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To: JamesP81

Regardless of his guilt or innocence, I wonder when liberals are going to defend Ted’s civil liberties?


4 posted on 09/21/2007 10:36:46 AM PDT by Perdogg (Join the NCAA basketball thread - Freemail me)
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