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In an article by Chuck Neubauer in the Washington Times on Wednesday, June 10, 2009, he recalls the time when Democrats said they should control Congress because of the two corrupt Republican lawmakers: Mark Foley and Rick Renzi, who were made to be examples of Washington's "culture of corruption." Voters sided with the Democrats and the Republicans lost power.
Neubauer writes "But when the limelight faded, the controversies took an unexpected twist: Democrats, now in control, sought to block or limit prosecutors from gathering certain evidence of corruption against members of Congress on constitutional grounds, complicating the criminal cases against the two Republicans.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and the Democratic leadership joined with top Republicans to continue a years-long tradition authorizing the House general counsel's office to intervene in outside investigations of its members.
They sought the exclusion of evidence it said was obtained in violation of Article 1, Section 6, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution. The clause protects the legislative branch from meddling by the other two branches, declaring that "for any Speech or Debate in either House, [senators and representatives] shall not be questioned in any other Place."