Warning: include(/home/www/instapundit-archive/ad.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/joyent-copy/home/www/instapundit-archive/archives/030493.php on line 152
Warning: include(): Failed opening '/home/www/instapundit-archive/ad.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/share/pear:/usr/share/php') in /home/joyent-copy/home/www/instapundit-archive/archives/030493.php on line 152
May 23, 2006
MEMBERS OF CONGRESS ARE COMPLAINING about the FBI raid on Rep. William Jefferson's office. The separation of powers argument seems to be pretty weak to me: The actual scope of Congressional immunity under the speech and debate clause is quite narrow (narrower, oddly, than the judically-created immunities enjoyed by judges and prosecutors) and certainly doesn't include immunity from search in a bribery case.
At any rate, members of Congress who are offended by an unannounced late-night raid on an office might profitably be asked what they think about late-night unannounced raids on private homes, which happen all the time as part of the Congressionally-mandated War on Drugs.
If anything, it ought to work the other way. I think if you searched 435 randomly selected American homes, and 435 Congressional offices, you just might find more evidence of crime in the latter. . . .
UPDATE: Roger Simon wonders what got into Newt Gingrich.
Meanwhile, here's more on that whole culture of corruption thing.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Via Radley Balko, a whole series of blog posts about no-knock SWAT-type raids that make the search of Rep. Jefferson's office look rather mild.
Any member of Congress objecting to the Jefferson search without having a problem with raids like these is a hypocrite.
One can almost hear Speaker Hastert trying to defend himself: ”Look, I said something about executive branch overreaching just this morning. Ya know, I’ve signed off on some extraordinary police powers over the years, but there’s gotta be a limit to those powers. The Constitution is clear: The right of members of Congress to be secure in their offices and homes shall not be violated!”
Yeah, screw the rest of us.