Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Hastert: We are mad as hell, et cetera...

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP)--House Speaker Dennis ("Chins") Hastert demanded Wednesday that the FBI surrender documents it seized and remove agents involved in the weekend raid of Representative William Jefferson's office, before they get cocky and try it with a Republican.

"We think those materials ought to be returned," Hastert said, adding that the FBI agents involved "ought to be pistol-whipped just for thinking they can fuck with Congress."

The Saturday night search of Jefferson's office on Capitol Hill brought Democrats and Republicans together in rare election-year accord, with both parties protesting agency conduct they said violated the Constitution's separation of powers doctrine and made everyone terribly nervous about keeping cash around the place.

Democrats, meanwhile, sought to wean Jefferson off the House's most appealing teat.

"In the interest of upholding the high ethical standard of the House Democratic Caucus and preventing the American public being distracted from a shitload of Republican bribery scandals, I am writing to request your immediate resignation from the Ways and Means Committee," wrote House Democratic Leader Nancy ("Antsy") Pelosi in the one-sentence correspondence.

Jefferson had no immediate comment but said the day before that he would die in a hail of bullets before he would surrender the seat. He has not admitted any wrongdoing, despite an FBI affidavit that said agents had found $90,000 and a human head in the freezer in his house.

"I will not give up a committee assignment that is so vital to New Orleans at this crucial time for any uncertain, long-term political strategy like cleaning up the sinkhole of corruption that is the House of Representatives," Jefferson said Tuesday. "If asked, I would respectfully suggest that you get out the kneepads, Nancy."

Republicans, meanwhile, were being careful to express their panic and outrage over the possibility that massive corruption could lead to legal action without appearing to defend a Democrat, their natural enemy in the wild Potomac swamp.

A day earlier, Hastert (R-IL), complained about the raid personally to President Bush, who couldn't believe this fat little bastard would have the balls. Other House officials have predicted that the case would bring all three branches together at the Supreme Court for a constitutional showdown in which dozens of lives could be lost.

In April, Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., personally told Bush that "the president doesn't have a blank check" during a discussion of Bush's illegal and unconstitutional warrantless domestic wiretapping program, which is evidently more expensive than anticipated.

Hastert kept up the weak, irregular drumbeat after the FBI's raid of Jefferson's office.

"My opinion is that they took the wrong path," Hastert said after Bush had him removed from the White House. "They need to back up, and then we need to stand there for a while, making small talk."

White House officials said they did not learn of the search until after it happened, and that no one could have predicted it. They pledged to work with the Justice Department to soothe the fears of crooked Republican lawmakers.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales tried to strike a conciliatory tone, saying, "We have a great deal of respect for the Congress as a coequal branch of government, although we don't really think of them that way." But he also defended the search: "We have an obligation to the American people to pursue the evidence where it implicates Democrats."

Justice Department officials said the decision to search Jefferson's office was made in part because he refused to comply with a subpoena for documents last summer, but mostly to draw the public's attention from the impending indictment of Karl Rove.

1 comment:

Scott said...

Right, exactly.

I am shocked, shocked to find corruption in Louisiana politics!

"Remember 9/11 -- Impeach the Traitor!"