Republicans’ opportunistic support of Rep. Jefferson.
The assertion is that the FBI may not search the offices of sitting congressmen, based on concerns about the separation of powers. Of course, such searches require a warrant, which must be approved by a judge. So here we have one branch (executive) being balanced by the need to gain approval of another branch (judicial) to investigate the third (legislative). Seems to me like the separation of powers has worked nicely.
Had this been done without a warrant, or a warrant issued by the FISA court or something, I could appreciate the concerns. But the man had $90,000 in cash stuffed into his freezer after being caught on tape collecting it from an FBI informant. Guilty or no, there was clearly good evidence for a warrant.
I cannot help but notice that it’s only, in the words on CNN, “Republican House and Senate leaders” who are making these separation-of-powers claims. If any Democrats other than Rep. Jefferson think this presents a problem, I haven’t heard of them.
Seems to me that these Republicans feel the noose tightening as the many investigations into illegal behavior on their part (DeLay, Abramoff, MZM, etc.) begin to wrap up. So Jefferson’s plight is an opportunity for them. If Democrats are smart, they’ll toss Jefferson to the wolves and loudly rebut these claims.