Thursday, May 25, 2006
Bush Orders FBI to Stand Down in Jefferson Bribery Bust.
While the connection window is still open, I'm going to make up for some lost time with my take on the story of William Jefferson's bribery bust, it's relationship to House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R - Slob) and Preznit Flight Suit Fantasy telling the FBI to stand down. Yahoo News AP wire excerpt:
WASHINGTON - President Bush stepped into a confrontation between the Justice Department and Congress on Thursday, ordering that documents seized in an FBI raid on a lawmaker's office be sealed for 45 days.
His spokesman also labeled as "false, false, false" charges that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' department had tried to intimidate Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert.
In an effort to defuse an intensifying, election-year dispute between the Republican-led Congress and his administration, Bush, facing growing complaints from lawmakers in both parties that he has abused presidential powers, called for a cooling-off period.
"Our government has not faced such a dilemma in more than two centuries," he said in a statement. "Yet after days of discussions, it is clear these differences will require more time to be worked out."
Bush granted one of Hastert's demands, directing the FBI to surrender documents and computerized records taken last weekend from the office of Rep. William Jefferson, D-La. He ordered Solicitor General Paul Clement, who has a separate office in the Justice Department, to take custody of them.
The president said (apparently with a straight face...) no one is above the law and that he continued to support the investigation of Jefferson. The eight-term congressman is accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars to facilitate a telephone investment deal in Africa.
"Those who violate the law — including a member of Congress — should and will be held to account," the president said. "This investigation will go forward and justice will be served."
Gonzales said the move provides "time to reach a permanent solution that allows this investigation to continue while accommodating the concerns of certain members of Congress."
The FBI said it would comply with Bush's order.
Jefferson called the order "a good first step but ultimately, the answer would be to return the documents."
The time-out came five days after the FBI, acting on a search warrant signed a week ago by a federal judge, raided Jefferson's office as part of the bribery investigation.
In an affidavit supporting the search warrant, the FBI said it had videotaped Jefferson last summer taking $100,000 in bribe money and that agents had found $90,000 of that cash stuffed in a freezer in his home.
Okay, that's enough. First of all, why on Earth, Mars, Venus or any other planet would you, if your money was legitimate, hide it in a goddamned freezer? I'd never heard of Jefferson (D - Idiot) before, but, unless he has one hell of a good excuse for hiding his money in such a Goodfellas manner, he looks guilty as hell and should resign immediately. Hastert looks like he is in bad trouble too as the Abramoff mess looks as if it is going to crush him. ABC News should call the fat bastard's bluff and force him to defend himself in a public forum. Unfortunately, with Dubya stepping in like this, such a prospect appears as likely as my taking Keira Knightley out on the town for a night of dinner and dancing...
Second, why, when the Preznit is pushing for NSA Spy-Nazi General Hayden to become head of the CIA to more effectively snoop into the personal lives of every American citizen, are we seeing this crooked son of a bitch bend over backwards to help a Congressman break the law? Apparently, to paraphrase Leona Helmsley, the laws are "only for the little people".
I guess it just goes to show that, even with the good news of the Lay-Skilling conviction, we still have a lot of work to do to make these rotten excuses for leaders wake up to the fact that they work for us, not the other way around.