Friday, June 16, 2006

Executive v Legislative

When, on May 20, FBI agents executed a search warrant on the congressional office of Rep. William J. Jefferson the stage was set for a showdown between two branches of government.

The lawyer for the House of Representatives argued in court today that the search was unconstitutional because it took place in violation of Speech and Debate clause.

The Justice Department attorney replied that the government was not after legislative records, but was collecting evidence of bribery using a "legally executed search warrant".

Judge Thomas Hogan, the same judge who signed the search warrant, did not rule today, but at one point said from the bench that he believed the Speech and Debate clause was not "a hide and conceal clause".

The sketch shows Congressman Jefferson's attorney, Robert Trout, arguing before Judge Hogan.


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