This just sounds like bullshit to me.
Gonzales Said He Would Quit in Raid Dispute
NYT: Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, the F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III, and senior officials and career prosecutors at the Justice Department told associates this week that they were prepared to quit if the White House directed them to relinquish evidence seized in a bitterly disputed search of a House member's office, government officials said Friday.
Mr. Gonzales was joined in raising the possibility of resignation by the deputy attorney general, Paul J. McNulty, the officials said. Mr. Gonzales and Mr. McNulty told associates that they had an obligation to protect evidence in a criminal case and would be unwilling to carry out any White House order to return the material to Congress.
The potential showdown was averted Thursday when President Bush ordered the evidence to be sealed for 45 days to give Congress and the Justice Department a chance to work out a deal.
The evidence was seized by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents last Saturday night in a search of the office of Representative William J. Jefferson, Democrat of Louisiana. The search set off an uproar of protest by House leaders in both parties, who said the intrusion by an executive branch agency into a Congressional office violated the Constitution's separation of powers doctrine. They demanded that the Justice Department return the evidence. ...(more)
Now, I don't like the damage this scandal is obviously doing to the Dems chances come Nov. But no other member of Congress in either party has been asked to quit or step aside from a committee that their alleged dirty dealings had no bearing on before they were even charged with anything. Also, I have some serious doubts as to whether he's even really guilty of a crime.
First, The setup where they caught Jefferson on tape taking money from an undercover agent and the search of his home where the money was found in his freezer happened almost a year ago, before Katrina. If they have what sure sounds like slam dunk evidence against him, why a year later no charges, when Cunningham has been thrown in jail in less time? Why would they even really need to search for more evidence?
Second, the simple fact that it was an undercover agent giving him the cash stinks of entrapment. They cannot dangle money in front of people to see if they will take it. That's entrapment. It surewouldn't be the first time the FBI overreached in a sting.
Remember John DeLorean
... On October 26, 1982, DeLorean was arrested for putting up $1.8 million to bring 100 kilos of cocaine into the United States. DeLorean stood to make $24 million from the deal, and he told a confidential informant (CI) for the FBI that he intended using the proceeds to salvage his dream, the DeLorean Motor Company, which faced ruin. (...)
In 1984, DeLorean was acquitted of all charges after a federal judge ruled that the FBI operation had been a clear case of entrapment. ...(more)
I really think chimpyco might have gotten the FBI to entrap Jefferson because they saw all of the repuke scandals coming down the pike, and they wanted a dirty Dem to give them some cover. I think it's possible Jefferson may have even had evidence of his entrapment, and DOJ just came in and stole it.
I'm not just wildly speculating here. That's been Rove's history...Election-year Investigations
Karl Rove and the FBI
Rove, as all the world knows, has been a longtime Republican political operative in Texas prior to heading to Washington with Bush. During that time, Texas Democrats noticed a pattern that they eventually became somewhat paranoid about: In election years, there always seemed to be an FBI investigation of some sitting Democrat either announced or leaked to the press. ...(more)
This seems important to this dicussion, don't you think?
Also, NONE of these people had to step down from anything before they were charged with a crime...The GOP List of Shame
The ever-expanding list of Republicans mired in scandal, just in the past year.
Now, if the FBI were to lobby every member of Congress with an illegal quid pro quo that would net them $100K, how many would take it? Given all of the other scandals out there just this year alone, it's a safe bet more than just Jefferson would. Unfortunately our politicians have to spend more time chasing after the money they need to stay in office than they do actually performing the job we elected them to do. We need public campaign financing to fix this problem.
Involving the Abramoff scandal
Rep. Tom Delay (R-TX),
Rep. Steven LaTourette (R-OH),
Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA),
Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH),
Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT),
Rep. Dana Rohrabaker (R-CA),
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX),
Rep. Don Young (R-AK),
Rep. Richard W. Pombo (R-CA),
Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ)
Rep. Steven LaTourette, (R-OH)
Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-IL)
Scandals besides Jack Abramoff,
Sen Bill Frist (R-TN)
Sen Conrad Burns (R-MT)
Sen Rick Santorum (R-PA)
Sen John Thune (R-SD)
Sen George Voinovich (R-OH)
Gov Taft (R) and Ohio Coingate
Ky. Gov Ernie Fletcher (R)
MS. Gov. Haley Barbour (R)
MO Gov. Matt Blunt (R)
Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)
Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI)
Rep Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA)
Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA)
Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA)
Rep Michael G. Oxley (R-OH)
Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA)
Rep. Richard W. Pombo (R-CA)
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA)
Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH)
Rep. Charles Taylor (R-NC)
Rep. Katherine Harris ’06 Sen candidate (R-Fla)
Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA)
Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY)
Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY)
Brian Bilbray House Candidate (R-CA)
Ralph Reed ’06 Lt Gov Candidate (R-GA)
ex-IL Gov. George Ryan Sr (R)
Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to Vice President I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Jr
HUD Secretary Alfonso Jackson
ex-Interior Secretary Gale Norton
Whitehouse OMB Official David Safavian
Whitehouse chief Domestic-policy Adviser Claude Allen
Ex-F.D.A. Comissioner Lester M. Crawford
DHS Chief Financial Officer Nominee David Norquist
If Congress cannot order searches of the Whitehouse, the Whitehouse cannot order searches of Congress. It's called co-equal branches, because neither branch can be allowed to trump the other. I know this is probably more of an implied principle since this is not decided law yet, but it is very important. Every administrative position at DOJ/FBI serves at the pleasure of the President. The FBI is a tool of the executive branch.
Now, when Hoover ran the FBI, he kept everybody in check because he illegally spied on them. Even Presidents were afraid to mess with Hoover. Hoover was Director of the FBI for almost 50 years.
I think Chimpy is a lot like Hoover. that's why the search of Jefferson's office is so troubling to me.
OK, enough trying to defend Jefferson. If he's guilty, and I don't mean when a court finds him guilty, he knows damn well if he's guilty or not, and if so he needs to step aside now. I don't mean just from the House Ways and Means Committee, I mean, if he knows he's guilty, he needs to quit Congress altogether and get the hell out of my Party.
We don't know half this story yet. Unfortunately I suspect not only Jefferson, but the whole Democratic Party is going to get the shaft out of this deal when all is said and done.