To say I do not understand WTF is going on between the Justice Department, the OVP, the White House and Congressional Republicans in the William Jefferson affair would be an understatement. I doubt right now if many can claim to know what this weird dance is all about.With corruption scandals a plenty on the horizon you can understand how Mr Hastert and the Rethuglicans, and to be "fair and balanced" probably a few Democrats, would be nervous about the FBI checking out their offices. And then there is Darth Cheney, he's already about as popular as a pit viper in the living room so I can see how he could be nervous about ticking off anymore Republican lawmakers.
Abu Gonzales has never found a position so base he could not justify at Dubya’s request — from torture to illegal wiretapping to threatening journalists and rubber stamping all manner of unlimited executive overreach — but he’s finally drawing a line in the sand over returning documents seized in a bribery scandal?
Dennis Hastert has gleefully played marionette to perhaps the biggest crook in the House, Tom DeLay, and has happily facilitated the White House’s efforts to hack off limbs of Congressional authority, but now he’s ready to force a constitutional crisis defending a member of the Black Congressional Caucus?
Dick Cheney, chief pimp for the theory of the Unitary Executive, is telling the White House to back off? That’s like Simon Cowell walking on to the set of American Idol and ordering everyone to stop being so mean.
But was it legal? Robert F. Turner at the WSJ Opinion Journal makes a good case that it was. I can't really argue with anything he says. Do I still have a problem with it? The answer is yes! As Digby explains:
The reason to be against this is political and constitutional, not legal. It's entirely possible that the warrant they got was proper and that their cause is just. And I have no doubt that Hastert had a hissy fit and got Bush to seal the documents to cover his own ample ass. But the bigger issue is something that someone wrote in an email a couple of days ago: This Republican Justice Department, led by a lifetime Bush loyalist and good friend to Karl Rove now has every Democratic strategy memo that ever came across Congressman Jefferson's desk. Trust 'em?This is not a case of potential political abuse by a Justice Department controlled by the White House but a case of probable abuse. And that's not limited to this administration.
Now I would like to see every crook in Congress put away but the potential/probable abuse is too great to justify the methods used. Another problem I have with this case is it would appear they already had Mr Jefferson nailed. So why search his office and set this precedent? Was there an additional political motive there? That would be my guess.