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Justice Officials Threaten Resignation Over Documents

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posted on May, 27 2006 @ 11:05 AM
Sources say Justice Department officials are threatening to resign if they are forced to give back documents taken last week in the raid of Congressman William Jefferson's office in an ongoing bribery case. Things seem to be getting to the boiling point after President Bush made the decision to seal the documents taken in the raid for 45 days until a happy medium could be found. Vice President Dick Cheney's office, according to sources, has said that there are other viewpoints that must be looked at in the taking of the documents. The Justice Department reportedly believes that they had not crossed any consititutional boundaries in the raid on Mr. Jefferson's office, while ranking congressional members, such as Dennis Hastert, have called for the immediate return of the documents.
Top Justice Department officials --Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty and FBI Director Robert Mueller --indicated they would resign if forced to give the seized materials back, the officials said.

The resignation threats were relayed to the White House midweek as President Bush came under fierce pressure from Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert and other congressional leaders to return the materials.

Inside the White House, the two administration sources told CNN that Vice Presidential Chief of Staff David Addington believed the FBI had crossed a constitutional line. Addington, usually a strong proponent of presidential power, asserted that in this case the FBI went too far and violated the separation of powers.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

This seems to be getting way out of control. We have the one side fighting over the fact that the Justice Department shouldn't be breaking Constitutional barriers that are around the Congress. Then we have the other side saying they had the right, and this was necessary. I personally believe that there is something not right with all of this. Its a major thing if Gonzales and Mueller resign, but I am interested to see if someone is going to call their bluff.

This would be another huge shakeup for the Bush Administration, and I don't know how many more he wants to have occur. It will be interesting to see how in the following days/weeks he chooses to respond to these threats.

I also question the signs of upheaval that seem to be in a bunch of different offices. We have Vice President Cheney's office going one way, while the Justice Department is going another way. On top of that we have a bipartisan effort to retrieve these papers by Congress. This is growing bigger by the day.

Related Discussion Threads:
Controversy Exploding Over Congressman Jefferson Raid

posted on May, 27 2006 @ 09:13 PM
Yahoo! News

C. Science Mon.


Sorry, all these links were not in earlier for me to include. This is turning into such a mess. For better or worse, I hope a conclusion is met soon.

*Edit- fixed spacing between links.

[edit on 5/27/06 by niteboy82]

posted on May, 27 2006 @ 09:30 PM
as I said, this issue is going to be a big one. When the FBI did the first raid on a congressmans office I knew something was going to end up being made of this, but even I didnt think it would get to this when I first posted about the raid. This is turning into a major power struggle, and also I'm not even sure which side to take thats worse.

I dont know which side is crooked, which sides motives are. Everything is so vague and almost to an extent of menacing. I look at it and cant help but question the true intent of the FBI and such. It almost like a presidential election, side with the lesser of two evils. The FBI possibly acting in an unconstitutional manner or a crooked politician. I want to see the politician go down hard, but not if its going against the constitution, and that says alot coming from me since Im one the biggest anti politician/big business people around. I would love to see a congressman taking bribes go down hard, but not at the price of throwing the constitution aside.

posted on May, 27 2006 @ 09:36 PM

I dont know which side is crooked, which sides motives are......I would love to see a congressman taking bribes go down hard, but not at the price of throwing the constitution aside.

Thats the crux of this, isn't it? Which one is right?

I can say that in New Orleans, the majority of us actually are showing shame for this happening. Everyone that I speak to, tells me that it's different when it happens locally, it's kept between ourselves. For something to get this big though, and be on the cusp of the very battle that may historically help define parts of the constitution is being taken seriously.

Yeah, I voted for him.

If only I would have known that he was more outwardly corrupt than some other politicians.

posted on May, 27 2006 @ 09:44 PM
Call me dense, but I fail to see where there is a constitutional issue here.

posted on May, 27 2006 @ 09:48 PM

posted by skibum
Call me dense, but I fail to see where there is a constitutional issue here.

Basically, the senate leaders have bipartisanly supported the idea that this violates the Checks and Balances system of the Constitution and that the protection from the Executive Branch to "harass" congressmen/women.

posted on May, 27 2006 @ 09:48 PM
There supposedly is a constitutional issue, because in something along the lines of 147 years, there has never been a political office raided by the FBI. Politicians have come to believe that they are above the FBI, and other law enforcement agencies, because of this.

posted on May, 27 2006 @ 09:54 PM

posted by Zaphod58
There supposedly is a constitutional issue, because in something along the lines of 147 years, there has never been a political office raided by the FBI. Politicians have come to believe that they are above the FBI, and other law enforcement agencies, because of this.

213 years is closer I think.

Are the congressmen protecting themselves from the ongoing scandals going around?

Or is the Justice Department truly breaking through walls that were put up by our founding fathers to protect the congress, ie. separation of powers.

It's really open at this point, and I am very interested to see what our president is going to do in order to try and fix this.

posted on May, 27 2006 @ 10:04 PM
This has nothing to do with separation of powers. This has ONLY to do with someone in Congress breaking a law, being caught, and Congress trying to protect him, and themselves. Just because they're in Congress doesn't mean that they can do anything they way. He broke the law, there was a legally binding warrant that was signed by a judge, therefor the documents were seized legally.

posted on May, 27 2006 @ 10:11 PM
I agree with you, and as originally posted, part of a problem is things events like Cheney's office deciding to go along with the congressmen. I have a feeling there is a fish hidden in a closet that doesn't want to come out. I'm only 23, but I have never seen a fight come out like this.

Of course, he was caught on tape taking the bribe, but there are very mixed feelings about the whole course of this investigation and where it has gotten us to. I would like to see which one is lying the most for their benefit. I feel as though both sides are doing things they shouldn't be.

posted on May, 27 2006 @ 10:20 PM

Of course, he was caught on tape taking the bribe, but there are very mixed feelings about the whole course of this investigation and where it has gotten us to.

Apparently the congressman had 8 months to turn over the requested documents pertaining to the investigation.

He tried to hide behind his office, a warrant was issued (IMO the issuance of the warrant is essentially a preliminary ruling from a lower court as to the constitutionality).

I don't feel its up to Congress and the President to try to come to an agreement, IMO that would be usurping the powers of the Judicial branch.

I say prosecute and let the system do what it was designed to do, any constitutional issues will be decided in the proper forum the Supreme Court.

[edit on 27/5/06 by Skibum]

posted on May, 27 2006 @ 10:21 PM
Remember, they have Jefferson on video tape accepting a $100,000,00 bribe. Accepting a bribe cannot possibly be protected by the copnstitution. The Justice Dept. tried for 8 months to get the congressman to cooperate with their investigation and he refused. Again, I cannot see how any overstepping of authority or breach of protocols was possibly committed. Finally, in frustration, the Justice Dept. sought and got a warrant to search the congressmans office. Even then, they brought in outisde officials (not connected with the investigation) to oversee the search of the office and be sure they were not taking anything at all that wasn't directly mentioned in the search warrant. Bear in mind that the entire warrant was granted by a judge and the judge had to have been cognizant of the separation of powere issue(s) before granting the warrant. I just fail to see how the investigators did anything wrong. Congressmen & women cannot be above the law and they cannot hide behind some separation of poweres cloak. Just hang the guy and get on with it.

posted on May, 27 2006 @ 10:25 PM

ensures all laws are carried out.

that is a power of the executive branch. the FBI is part of the executive branch. The Judicial Branch signed the warrent to OK it. The politicians arent allowed to be part of bribery or other crimes.

In a sense it seems the FBI was in the green for what they did. It definately seems that the congress is scrambling because they realized the laws they passed, and the same laws being used against them now. You reap what you sow.

posted on May, 27 2006 @ 10:29 PM
I agree with most of the posters thus Far...this was a LEGAL search carried out by the FBI on a legal warrant....Not to mention the fact that A) They ASKED 8months ago for the documents through a documents....and B) THEY HAVE HIM ON TAPE!!!!!

This is just like the Blue Shield that protects Cops coupled with the fact that anyone and everyone who is linked in anyway to Jack Abramoff are running scared. This was the Rights chance to shout and scream about how the Dems are many have we seen come out and say that what he did was wrong? As far as Ive seen...only one or two and they were both Dems.

This is a total joke....if any normal American did this we all know what would happen.

El senor pom pom the master of your disaster

posted on May, 27 2006 @ 10:32 PM
But back to topic, doesn't this put a quandary in the election year for the president to have his veep's office (reportedly) "taking the senate's side", while he has the highest ranking members of the NSA/FBI. It seems so simple for us to figure out, but I think that the major people are starting to infight a little too much (if it goes public in the MSM).

posted on May, 28 2006 @ 06:06 AM
The constitutional issue here is not a valid argument, imo. From what I understand, congressmen have a limited amount of immunity in that they cannot be arrested while on the voting floor, or while performing certain other duties. So the attempt to use it as a defense here is not valid.

It's interesting to observe the amount of heat this issue has generated so quickly. Hastert and Pelosi both are outraged about the search. And Gonzales and Mueller threaten to resign if they are forced to return the seized materials.

I don't really understand why Bush felt it necessary to invoke the cooling off period. I would have sent this straight to the courts to decide.

posted on May, 28 2006 @ 06:39 PM
I agree, congress is not above the law. They should let the agents finish looking at the info then just turn in over to the prosecuters and hang the sory exceuse for a public servant.
I hope some one at the top has the spine to do what is right.

posted on May, 28 2006 @ 06:42 PM
I have the feeling that the congressmembers are only so upset because they fear the skeletons in their own closets that they have not hidden so well. Just a guess, but the only reason this hasn't happened in 200 some odd years is because I assume that anybody in their right mind would turn in the documents once the warrant was issued. There definitely was a warrant, so I mean, what can they expect? The office was not hallowed ground like what would scare off a vampire.

What confuses me is the input of Cheney's staff on the side of the congress. What is his gain out of this?

posted on May, 29 2006 @ 05:59 AM
Gee how principled, idelogical and noble of them. Wonder where these scruples were when the administration approved of torture, or invaded Iraq on false premisies, or illeaglly wiretap phone call among so many of the abuses of this administration?

posted on May, 29 2006 @ 06:19 AM
Above The Law

As far as I know, there is no provision in the Constitution which permits members of Congress to commit felonies with impunity.

Several subpoenas and a search warrant were granted by a federal judge for this action.

So it's not just the FBI versus Congress, but a valid legal action taken by agents of the federal government under appropriate court oversight, all in accordance with the requirements of federal law.

There are legitimate constitutional issues to consider in this case, but I don't think this is one of them.

If federal agents acting with court approval cannot execute a valid search warrant on a member of Congress, then Congress considers itself above the law.

Congress is not above the law.

Members of Congress must obey the law like everyone else, or forfeit the powers entrusted to them.

Those arguing otherwise are arguing against the rule of law.

They are wrong to do so, and that's a crisis.

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