June 6, 2006
Sometimes I think politicians have too much time on their hands. Some republicans and democrats are incensed that the FBI raided the Capitol Hill office of democratic congressman William Jefferson of Louisiana. The FBI got a warrant from a federal judge, which means it had to demonstrate probable cause that information related to a crime was in Jefferson’s office. Some republican and democrat leaders screamed about a violation of the separation of powers. Jefferson is alleged to have taken a $100 thousand bribe and stashed $90 thousand of it in a freezer.
So what are the complainers telling us; that a member of Congress ought to be able to hide evidence of a possible crime in his or her congressional office and be out of the reach of the law? Would they be complaining if a dead body was found in a congressional office? This was thinking behind the capitol police not arresting Congressman Patrick Kennedy in the middle of the night when it appeared to the officers who first confronted him that he was impaired in some way and should not be driving. Just because congress makes the laws doesn’t mean members should be above the law.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.