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Controversy Exploding Over Congressman Jefferson Raid

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posted on May, 30 2006 @ 09:51 AM
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If a seize is unconstitutional, it´s unconstitutional, period.

I hear boots marching in the street, coming to seize my computer. Anyone else?




posted on May, 30 2006 @ 09:57 AM
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Bush and Co are trying all they can to circumvent constitutional checks and balances, but
it appears there are finally just enough true patriots within the ranks to put up a good fight.

I think the corrupt elements are circling wagons, but it may not help if the documents found
show us the extent of corruption in our leadership.



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 10:08 AM
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Originally posted by subz
The precedent has now been set and simply accusing a congressman of a crime will facilitate the raiding of their offices from now on.
[edit on 30/5/06 by subz]


I hope that simply accusing anyone of a crime would not result in a 'raid' of the person's home, office etc. However, in this case, there is clear evidence that a crime has been committed, so a search warrant was sought and granted. Our leaders should not be able to have a haven where they can store there illigal gains, in whatever form. Their offices should not be out of reach of the law, nor should they.

EDIT: Spelling

[edit on 5/30/2006 by DCFusion]



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 11:02 AM
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Originally posted by subz
I think the furore surrounds the executive branch violating the offices of the legislative branch. Never been done before this incident.

There is clearly a case against Jefferson so why the need to break a monumental taboo and raid a Congressman's office? The precedent has now been set and simply accusing a congressman of a crime will facilitate the raiding of their offices from now on. How is that healthy for the separation of powers? Will the precedent be reciprocated with Select Committees raiding the Oval Office at any hint of illegality in the White House? Some how I dont think so...

What monumental taboo has been broken? Just because it has never happened before doesn't make it a taboo.

The "separation of powers" clause being cited here is Article 1, Section 6 of the US Constitution. Excerpted from that Section:

The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
caselaw.lp.findlaw.com...

Emphasis added

This is also known as the "Speech and Debate" clause, which gives the congressmen certain immunities while performing their elected duties.

It does not cover searches of their office.

Jefferson, btw, has ignored a subpoena for several months now.



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 11:56 AM
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Originally posted by DCFusion
I hope that simply accusing anyone of a crime would not result in a 'raid' of the person's home, office etc. However, in this case, there is clear evidence that a crime has been committed, so a search warrant was sought and granted. Our leaders should not be able to have a haven where they can store there illigal gains, in whatever form. Their offices should not be out of reach of the law, nor should they.

Well they dont even need to actually accuse you, have a look at the Patriot Act. They chose an open and shut case to try this latest abuse of power because they knew that defending an obviously guilty and corrupt congressman makes the good guys argument hard to sell. He is guilty of a crime, but thats not the issue here. Raiding a congressmans office, where he keeps all his files/documents and anything else of importance in the legislative branch of his office, breaks down the seperation of powers.

If a US military man gets caught doing something illegal do they automatically get the right to search top secret military archives? I also stand by my comparison, if the President gets caught doing something illegal should they be able to raid the Oval Office? It is no different to this case.


Originally posted by jsobecky
What monumental taboo has been broken? Just because it has never happened before doesn't make it a taboo.

A taboo is defined as: a prohibition imposed by social custom or as a protective measure, grab a dictionary man.

How many congressman have been caught doing illegal things in the history of the US congress? And how many have had their congressional offices raided by law enforcment officers? Up until this case, there hadnt been a single raid in over 200 years of congresses existance. I think its safe to say it was prohibited by social custom, if not by law.


Originally posted by jsobecky
This is also known as the "Speech and Debate" clause, which gives the congressmen certain immunities while performing their elected duties.

It does not cover searches of their office.

Jefferson, btw, has ignored a subpoena for several months now.

So does your opinion extend to the executive branch? Should the Vice President's office be raided in response to Plamegate? Cant have one rule for the goose and another for the ganders.

Ever heard of the word pretext? You'll find it in your dictionary too. Any one can be accused of anything, in a World where search warrants are defunkt any one can be raided if they are accused of anything. Take Cynthia McKinney for example, lets say she is accused of taking bribes, her office can now be raided and the precedent of good ol' guilty Jefferson will be thrown up to support the once taboo act of raiding congressional offices.

This is an out and out threat to the continued power of the legislative branch. The executive started out by demonizing "activist judges" and curtailing the powers of the judiciary. Not to mention stacking the Supreme Court with lackies. Now it is moving on to the legislative branch.

Will you truly be happy when you're living under a totalitarian regime? Because thats the way its heading whether you admit it or not.

[edit on 30/5/06 by subz]



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 12:33 PM
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Originally posted by subz
Raiding a congressmans office, where he keeps all his files/documents and anything else of importance in the legislative branch of his office, breaks down the seperation of powers.

No it does not. A legal search warrant was issued and executed.
www.npr.org...


If a US military man gets caught doing something illegal do they automatically get the right to search top secret military archives?

No but they would be within reason to obtain a search warrant to search the man's locker.


A taboo is defined as: a prohibition imposed by social custom or as a protective measure, grab a dictionary man.

Grab a dictionary?
Please tell me how the fact that this was a monumental taboo? You still haven't done that, other than to cite your opinion.


I think its safe to say it was prohibited by social custom, if not by law.

That's why we have courts. To determine such issues. Not "I think, therefore it must be true."



This is an out and out threat to the continued power of the legislative branch.

No it isn't. It is a continued attack on corrupt politicians, and I fully support the warrant and the search.

Speaking of the word "pretext", they have the guy on video accepting a $100K bribe. They found $90K in his freezer. He totally ignored a subpoena or months. Two of his associates, including an aide, have already pleaded guilty.

I'd say that was pretext enough.


Will you truly be happy when you're living under a totalitarian regime? Because thats the way its heading whether you admit it or not.

People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, subz. Remember how I pointed out your own country's encroachments?

Article 1, Section 6 was not designed to give corrupt politicians a privilege to hide incriminating evidence in their offices. This is what you are advocating.



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 12:53 PM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
No it does not. A legal search warrant was issued and executed.

Ok lets say a congressman has evidence that will get the President impeached. He has this evidence, and corresponding speeches and names of congressman supportive of impeachment stored in his office. Ever heard of Watergate, Jsobecky? You really think its beyond the realm of possibilty that a phony reason will be concocted to have that congressman's office raided? The furore is bipartisan and it consumes your countries congress. Yet, you again, think the President and his cronies in the DOJ are above reproach and everyone else is dillusional or guilty?


Originally posted by jsobecky
No but they would be within reason to obtain a search warrant to search the man's locker.

What if his locker and the place where top secret files are contained were one and the same?


Originally posted by jsobecky
Grab a dictionary?
Please tell me how the fact that this was a monumental taboo? You still haven't done that, other than to cite your opinion.

It was a taboo because it had never been attempted before in 230 years of congress having existed! What else is there to say? You know what, why am I even arguing over this? Far out!


Originally posted by jsobecky
That's why we have courts. To determine such issues. Not "I think, therefore it must be true."

The courts cannot interfere in processes of the legislative branch either. This issue isnt the bribery, that is open and shut. Its the violation of Congressional priviledge that is the issue here. Come to think of it, they had this guy on video accepting bribes, why did they need to raid his office and thus set a precedent?


Originally posted by jsobecky
No it isn't. It is a continued attack on corrupt politicians, and I fully support the warrant and the search.

Great, lets search the Vice President's office while we are at it! Valerie Plame's name didnt leak itself, and Libby has already been indicted.


Originally posted by jsobecky
Speaking of the word "pretext", they have the guy on video accepting a $100K bribe. They found $90K in his freezer. He totally ignored a subpoena or months. Two of his associates, including an aide, have already pleaded guilty.

So they needed more evidence, why?


Originally posted by jsobecky
I'd say that was pretext enough.

Ah gees Jsobecky, must I quote a dictionary to you again?

Pretext: a purpose or motive alleged or an appearance assumed in order to cloak the real intention or state of affairs

So if their pretext was the bribery, what was the "real intention" for raiding the congressman's office?


Originally posted by jsobecky
People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, subz. Remember how I pointed out your own country's encroachments?

When you read me prattling on about how great John Howard or Tony Blair are, and how justified they are in their actions then you can say that sort of thing. But since im an ardent critic of both of them im hardly throwing stones in glass houses. Im throwing stones AT glass houses if anything. Actually they look more like Ivory Towers.


Originally posted by jsobecky
Article 1, Section 6 was not designed to give corrupt politicians a privilege to hide incriminating evidence in their offices. This is what you are advocating.

Did I say it was? Taboo's generally arent legislated...

[edit on 30/5/06 by subz]



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 01:17 PM
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Originally posted by subz

Originally posted by jsobecky
No it does not. A legal search warrant was issued and executed.

Ok lets say a congressman has evidence that will get the President impeached. He has this evidence, and corresponding speeches and names of congressman supportive of impeachment stored in his office. Ever heard of Watergate, Jsobecky? You really think its beyond the realm of possibilty that a phony reason will be concocted to have that congressman's office raided? The furore is bipartisan and it consumes your countries congress.

Are you saying that this search was executed on false pretenses?


Yet, you again, think the President and his cronies in the DOJ are above reproach and everyone else is dillusional or guilty?

Here you go with the "association game" again, subz.

If the FBI cannot investigate an alleged crime by the legislature, then who can? You want them to be totally immune to investigation and prosecution. Why is that?


Originally posted by jsobecky
No but they would be within reason to obtain a search warrant to search the man's locker.


What if his locker and the place where top secret files are contained were one and the same?

Then I'd say he was a pretty dumb criminal and it is no wonder that he was caught.

And what does it matter, anyhow?



It was a taboo because it had never been attempted before in 230 years of congress having existed! What else is there to say? You know what, why am I even arguing over this? Far out!

I am glad that you realize that your position is tenuous at best.


Originally posted by jsobecky
That's why we have courts. To determine such issues. Not "I think, therefore it must be true."


Its the violation of Congressional priviledge that is the issue here.

This shows that you do not understand the intent of the clause, subz. It is there to prevent congressmen from being arrested while performing their official duties, such as being on the voting floor. It does not give their offices immunity from legal searches.


Come to think of it, they had this guy on video accepting bribes, why did they need to raid his office and thus set a precedent?

I have been waiting for you to ask this. What took you so long?

Ever hear of an ongoing investigation, subz? It's like tearing the shingles off your roof and finding rotten wood underneath. You would be satisfied with just covering up the rotten wood with new shingles. I would do the job right.

The FBI is looking for further involvement. Maybe that explains the bi-partisan outrage, eh?



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 01:31 PM
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Originally posted by subz
What if his locker and the place where top secret files are contained were one and the same?


The DOJ has investigators that are at the TS/SCI level. The DOJ will go wherever it needs to legally go to sniff out illegal activities. If the investigators need to see classified information, they have legal security procedures in place that will allow them to do so and continue to protect national security at the same time. It's not a free-for-all.

JDub



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 01:34 PM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
The "separation of powers" clause being cited here is Article 1, Section 6 of the US Constitution. Excerpted from that Section:

The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
caselaw.lp.findlaw.com...

Emphasis added

This is also known as the "Speech and Debate" clause, which gives the congressmen certain immunities while performing their elected duties.

It does not cover searches of their office.

Jefferson, btw, has ignored a subpoena for several months now.



Last time I checked bribery was a felony. That would sort of revolk the immunity from arrest clause. To me that makes the search legal. The real laugh is how many times this clause has been used to get out of speeding tickets and DUIs. I don't have a problem with the sealing of the siezed information though. That just insures that after the issue over whether or not the search was legal is over the information is still admissable in court.

Some people on this board are almost as bad as Congress. The whine and complain about how corrupt the government is and then when something is being done about it, they whine about that.



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 01:35 PM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
Are you saying that this search was executed on false pretenses?

No, I believe I used the word "pretext" which obviously confused you and it was a hypothetical illustrating why this precedent had never been set before. And why it should not be repeated. It is clearly wide open for abuse. This isnt raiding some crack den for drugs, its riffling through American congressmen's documents. How do you have no problem with this? Oh yeah, I forgot, he is corrupt - game over, hell why not search all congresses offices just to make sure the corruption isnt endemic...


Originally posted by jsobecky
Here you go with the "association game" again, subz.

Eh? No, im extrapolating your views in the absence of you answering pointed questions.


Originally posted by jsobecky
If the FBI cannot investigate an alleged crime by the legislature, then who can? You want them to be totally immune to investigation and prosecution. Why is that?

I dont want them to be immune, is that you playing this "association game"? I believe that searching their offices is ripe for abuse by the executive branch. I think the dangers of having an executive branch that can trammel roughshod over the legislature far exceeds the dangers posed by a corrupt congressman. It's comparing have terminal cancer to having aids, granted, but a corrupt congressman wont bring down the entire system whereas a tyranical executive branch would.

I also find it astonishing that in 230 years there has never been the need to raid a congressmans office before. Are you stating that congressman have been immune from prosecution for 230 years?


Originally posted by jsobecky
I am glad that you realize that your position is tenuous at best.

No, i realise that we're aruging over the meaning of the word "taboo". It's clearly defined in a dictionary, so why am I wasting my time?


Originally posted by jsobecky
This shows that you do not understand the intent of the clause, subz. It is there to prevent congressmen from being arrested while performing their official duties, such as being on the voting floor. It does not give their offices immunity from legal searches.

Again, did I say it did give them immunity? Hence the use of the word "taboo", they are not generally written laws but socially accepted norms and restrictions. You've got my head spinning champo, i'll give you that



Originally posted by jsobecky
I have been waiting for you to ask this. What took you so long?

Probably the fact that you need words explaining to you more often than not.


Originally posted by jsobecky
Ever hear of an ongoing investigation, subz? It's like tearing the shingles off your roof and finding rotten wood underneath. You would be satisfied with just covering up the rotten wood with new shingles. I would do the job right.

The FBI is looking for further involvement. Maybe that explains the bi-partisan outrage, eh?

I understand that. But why do something that has never been done in 230 years? Was it necessary? Would not have raiding this mans office not have got a guilty verdict?

Where can congressman keep the confidential files that are necessary to continue their checks and balances role within the US government if they have no place free from tampering or inspection? That is the question which you have failed to address here today.



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 02:08 PM
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overall im pretty split here. I can understand why they would want more evidence and possible leads for possible connections to other bribery and criminal acts among congrees. Something about it feels very off though. Theres something that worries me about the whole thing.

The idea that some of the things the FBI did are suspicious really ring alarms. A raid in the middle of the night? Not letting him have his lawyer present? 18 hours worth of searching? Something is off, something is suspicious. I feel that neither side can really be trusted here and we are all (as the public) totally missing a major part of whats going on.



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 02:25 PM
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Originally posted by grimreaper797
The idea that some of the things the FBI did are suspicious really ring alarms. A raid in the middle of the night? Not letting him have his lawyer present? 18 hours worth of searching? Something is off, something is suspicious. I feel that neither side can really be trusted here and we are all (as the public) totally missing a major part of whats going on.


What is suspicious? When a search warrant is being executed the person who owns or occupies the place being searched doesn't even have a right to be there. Unless I was missing something, was the Congressman taken into custody and physically prevented from calling his lawyer? Other than verifying the validity of the warrant what use would a lawyer have been? All that is happening here is that Congressman Jefferson is doing everything he can to throw up a smoke screen to hide the fact that he got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. I seem to remember reading some posts about Randy Cunningham when he was arrested. People on this board couldn't say enough bad things about him. Is William Jefforson any different? Maybe its because he's a Democrat or is it because he's black? To me bribery is bribery and at the least the man should be removed from office if he is convicted.



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 02:27 PM
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Typically when you get a search warrant in order to acquire evidence of wrongdoing, you don't notify the world before you execute that warrant.

I'm not sure what people expected here. There was evidence of wrongdoing, there was a properly issued warrant, there was a surprise search.

The point is to catch the crook off-guard with 90k in the freezer, not tell him "hey buddy, we're coming to search your house, hide your crap."



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 02:35 PM
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Why did they have to raid the office is what I want to know. why was it necessary? I can understand getting more leads, but that in no way would get them a warrent.



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 02:59 PM
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Why did they have to raid the office is what I want to know. why was it necessary?


My understanding, is that for 8 months the F.B.I. has been requesting certain documents to be turned over, for 8 months Rep. Jefferson has refused.

I guess they decided 8 months of waiting was enough and got a warrant to go get them themselves.



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 03:03 PM
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truthfully, I think all this hoopla is in hopes all the dems will ralley around thier fallen comrade and be the loudest voices about the unconstitutionality of the search. Then when it comes times to search the offices (predominately republican) on one of those many scandals floating around, well, we will have the dems opinion already on record!!! can't be hypocritical now, can we??

a mere accusation....ya right, caught on tape, money stashed in his freezer, it's all just a mere accusation.


the have plenty of evidence to arrest this guy and take him to trial, and yet, they haven't....I can only wonder why, unless there's other fist to fry, or they are using this guy to spin their rhetoric...
whatever...but I'm not buying the argument that it's unconstitutional for them to search the office of any corrupt politician!!



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 03:42 PM
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You know, I just wish people would stop being so damn partisan for a minute and think about what's best for the people of this country.

If a politician is taking bribes to influence the decisions he makes when wielding the power that the people have GIVEN to him, he is wrong and deserves to be exposed. That applies to Republicans and Democrats both. It also applies to members of all 3 branches of government that WE are paying and that WE put into power.

Congressman Jefferson is accountable to the people who elected him. He is responsible to do what's best for his constituency. NOT to allow payoffs to influence his policymaking.

There was NOTHING illegal about him being busted for breaking the law, so please stop the collective boohoo-ing for him. He's a lawBREAKER as opposed to lawmaker and deserves to be removed from office and imprisoned.

As for the rest of Congress... people!!! use your brains for moment. The only reason why the rest of Congress is flipping out about this is because they don't want to be caught with their hands in the cookie jar as well. Any Congressman who is worried that his wrongdoing is going to be exposed should do the nation a favor and resign.

Tom "The Slammer" DeLay is gone, William "The Refigerator" Jefferson will soon be gone as well. Good for them.

The job of the Department of Justice is to seek out justice is it not? Regardless of which party, regardless of which branch of government. Anyone who doesn't comprehend that either has an inferior knowledge of the way the government of the United States is SUPPOSED to run, is looking to cover their own ass, or is just looking to add this on as another way to attack people they don't like.

Justice for ALL.



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 04:17 PM
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Your World seems pretty perfect Djarums, may I live there?

I dont see many people questioning the issue of Jefferson's guilt here, its the raiding of congressional offices that is the big issue.

Can you not accept that its a breach of the seperation of powers to raid a congressman's office?

The FBI had ample evidence to convict Jefferson so why the unprecedented raid on his congressional office? Doesnt that strike you as bit odd?

Now what is the adverse consequence of raiding congressional offices? How about the interference of congressional authourity? What is now stopping any President from saying Congressman so and so is under suspicion of such and such, go raid their office to find some evidence.

Correct me if I am wrong but isnt the executive branch protected from just this kind of behavior through the use of the impeachment procedure? Why isnt the President or Vice President fair game for criminal searches whilst still in office? Why the disconnect? Why do all the cards seem to be comming up executive authourity lately?

[edit on 30/5/06 by subz]



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 04:27 PM
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Originally posted by subz
Your World seems pretty perfect Djarums, may I live there?

Can you not accept that its a breach of the seperation of powers to raid a congressman's office?

The FBI had ample evidence to convict Jefferson so why the unprecedented raid on his congressional office? Doesnt that strike you as bit odd?

Now what is the adverse consequence of raiding congressional offices? How about the interference of congressional authourity? What is now stopping any President from saying Congressman so and so is under suspicion of such and such, go raid their office to find some evidence.

Correct me if I am wrong but isnt the executive branch protected from just this kind of behavior through the use of the impeachment procedure? Why isnt the President or Vice President fair game for criminal searches whilst still in office? Why the disconnect? Why do all the cards seem to be comming up executive authourity lately?

[edit on 30/5/06 by subz]


How is it a violation of the seperation of powers to search Jefforson's office? The President didn't say anything, the FBI went to a Federal Judge and got a search warrant. If you think that the President has any influence over a Federal Judge after they have been apointed, I want to live in your world. The FBI more than met the requirements of getting a warrant to search. All this is just a smokescreen for Jefferson to try to get off.



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