You are viewing an obsolete version of the DU website which is no longer supported by the Administrators. Visit The New DU.
Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login

Reply #37: Dean also dissects Gonzales' actions in raiding Jefferson's Congressional office. [View All]

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-18-07 08:56 AM
Response to Original message
37. Dean also dissects Gonzales' actions in raiding Jefferson's Congressional office.
In May 2006, Gonzales gave the go-ahead to the FBI to raid a Congressional office (Louisiana Congressman William J. Jefferson) under a search warrant. Notwithstanding many previous Justice Department criminal investigations of members of Congress, never before -- in over 200 years -- had there been such a tactic employed by an Attorney General.

Rather, longstanding procedures govern what occurs when the Justice Department is seeking documents from a member of Congress, and they most certainly do not include a raid. Yet Gonzales a man with no Washington experience before coming to town with George W. Bush and apparently little common sense, ignored those procedures, and the important separation-of-powers concerns that lie behind them. Despite the respect due from one branch to another, he treated a Congressman like a common criminal.

The result has been that Gonzales has tied his own Department's investigation into knots, because he did not understand what he was doing. On May 15, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia heard arguments in the case of Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2133 v. United States, the ongoing appeal emanating from the raid.


"The Justice Department was wrong to seize records from Congressman Jefferson's office in violation of the constitutional principle of separation of powers, the speech or debate clause of the Constitution, and the practice of the last 219 years," Mr. Hastert and Ms. Pelosi declared. It is possibly the only thing that they have ever agreed upon, and their colleagues on both sides of the House were with them.


What will happen when Congress loses in Rayburn House Office Building vs. United States - which I believe they will? It's very likely they will enact into law the informal understanding on this matter that has existed for over two hundred years. These are the kind of problems that are better left to the tradition of informal resolution, but Gonzales's actions have precluded that option in the future.

This longstanding tradition was described by former Solicitor and Deputy General Counsel of the House form 1984 to 1995, Charles Tiefer, -- now a University of Baltimore law professor -- when he testified before the House Judiciary Committee. Professor Tiefer explained a number of investigations undertaken by the Justice Department of members of Congress (he mentioned a half dozen members, as well as the ABSCAM sting by the FBI). However, he also noted the Gonzales raid "had all the elements of unconstitutional executive intimidation. It breached a previously sacrosanct constitutional tradition without a showing of unique necessity." He said it ignored "the House's protocols," because, among other things, it was preceded by "no prior notice to the House leadership, nor any kind of consent of consultation."

Members and Leaders of both parties have expressed a determination to codify these procedures, in order to protect the separation of powers, lest the executive branch treat its co-equal as less than what it is. Thus, Gonzales's approval of this raid, in the end and ironically, has provoked a battle that the Justice Department will lose. In the future it will be much more difficult to get the institutional cooperation of Congress with such investigations. This will hurt the government because it will hamper the Justice Department and not make the Congress look good. But Congress must protect the separation of powers which Gonzales has simply ignored.

This is another stunning example of a Bush appointee who, when he served as WH Counsel, mocked and undermined the authority of the critically ill AG Ashcroft.

Now, this same carnivorous appointee IS the AG.

People who despise and denigrate the government of The People of the United States should never be allowed to run it.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
  -John Dean: "Congress could send 15 plainclothes Capitol Hill police officers to arrest the AG...." seafan  May-17-07 11:31 PM   #0 
  - Shut down the DoJ?!  Tandalayo_Scheisskopf   May-17-07 11:32 PM   #1 
  - Even Bill Gates couldn't.  calimary   May-18-07 01:32 AM   #4 
  - Great, then Gonzo and his bushie acolytes get to replace *all*  salin   May-18-07 05:46 AM   #19 
  - The DOJ is Currently DOA  KharmaTrain   May-18-07 08:12 AM   #31 
     - No further good can come out of Gonzales.  bjobotts   May-18-07 05:26 PM   #73 
        - Has any good ever come out of him? n/t  3waygeek   May-18-07 06:45 PM   #76 
  - Our reps have a better idea...give him a vote of no confidence. That'll  wiggs   May-17-07 11:35 PM   #2 
  - they had a chance to give him a vote of no confidence at his AG confirmation  yurbud   May-18-07 02:22 AM   #7 
  - Congress should NEVER approve of a pres's personal attorney becoming  wiggs   May-18-07 12:15 PM   #57 
  - Hubby and I were laughing (in a morbid way) about what, exactly,  Clark2008   May-18-07 07:30 AM   #26 
     - I fear that these kinds of votes, statements, and hearings will only  wiggs   May-18-07 12:16 PM   #58 
     - It's like this scene from "The Office"  KnaveRupe   May-18-07 03:08 PM   #67 
        - I love it! "The Oval Office"!  KamaAina   May-18-07 09:01 PM   #80 
  - kick  deacon   May-18-07 01:17 AM   #3 
  - stunning words fromDean at the end, we could see animplosion at DOJ  caligirl   May-18-07 01:33 AM   #5 
  - an internal mass resignation in protest of the acting AG (hmmmm...)  Supersedeas   May-18-07 04:10 PM   #71 
  - Now THERE'S a visualization image I could really sink my teeth into:  calimary   May-18-07 02:13 AM   #6 
  - I love that picture you just painted of gonzo in cuffs, and condie in a dither.  loudsue   May-18-07 04:08 AM   #10 
  - For Contradicta Rice  disndat   May-18-07 10:14 AM   #46 
  - Kick. Thanks for the info  alfredo   May-18-07 12:26 PM   #59 
  - Gonezales  wiley   May-18-07 03:11 AM   #8 
  - I heard that there was a small jail in the basement of the capital.  133724   May-18-07 03:37 AM   #9 
  - Proceed with caution  Bucky   May-18-07 04:32 AM   #11 
  - No wonder Gonzales is smirking his way through all this.  quiet.american   May-18-07 05:07 AM   #13 
  - I disagree with your assessment.  Edweird   May-18-07 05:15 AM   #14 
  - Doesn't matter, as long as Gonzo has a handful of friends  Wednesdays   May-18-07 09:25 AM   #41 
  - Isn't the DC Metro PD answerable to Congress?  krispos42   May-18-07 05:26 AM   #15 
  - No.  hootinholler   May-18-07 06:22 AM   #22 
     - I did not realize there were two police forces in DC  krispos42   May-18-07 03:15 PM   #69 
  - Nope.  hootinholler   May-18-07 06:19 AM   #21 
  - "A unique position to . . . declare the action unconstitutional [and] resist arrest"?  The Stranger   May-18-07 08:43 AM   #34 
  - Wouldn't recognize the legitimacy of Congress's authority  dogday   May-18-07 08:48 AM   #36 
  - I doubt that  frogcycle   May-18-07 01:15 PM   #61 
  - Yep, the gunfight would likely take place at the Supreme Court corral  MADem   May-18-07 01:50 PM   #63 
  - The AG can't "declare" something "unconstitutional"  StefanX   May-18-07 02:31 PM   #66 
  - Actually Attorneys-General issue rulings on constitutionality all the time.  Bucky   May-18-07 05:45 PM   #74 
     - No, the previous attorney general ruled the surveillance program  Raksha   May-18-07 10:01 PM   #81 
  - Showdown at high noon  ProudDad   May-18-07 11:03 PM   #83 
  - Wow. This is absolutely unbelievable.  fooj   May-18-07 04:46 AM   #12 
  - This kind of talk gives me butterflies in my stomach.  krispos42   May-18-07 05:29 AM   #16 
  - Rethugs and Dems want Gonzo to resign.  Disturbed   May-18-07 05:35 AM   #17 
  - Can the AG be impeached?  krispos42   May-18-07 05:42 AM   #18 
     - ANYONE can be impeached.  yodermon   May-18-07 09:39 AM   #43 
     - we should all parade with Section 4 in front of the Senate Building!!  alyce douglas   May-18-07 10:43 AM   #49 
     - Yes. See Dean's column on this from December 15, 2006:  seafan   May-18-07 09:58 AM   #45 
        - Very informative. Thank you both! n/t  krispos42   May-18-07 03:14 PM   #68 
  - You think this is bad?  Dr.Phool   May-18-07 07:16 AM   #23 
  - Gonzo is part of the family, Bush will continue to support Gonzo  alyce douglas   May-18-07 08:01 AM   #30 
  - It's a chess game  Lord Balto   May-18-07 02:29 PM   #65 
     - All the attacks start like dominoes....  krispos42   May-19-07 01:44 AM   #87 
  - There are several hundred bush apointees & officials that this should apply to.  Philosoraptor   May-18-07 05:48 AM   #20 
  - this thuggish administration is bringing into every department  alyce douglas   May-18-07 10:52 AM   #50 
  - They can save themselves an extra trip and pick up Rove too. n/t  Sentinel Chicken   May-18-07 07:19 AM   #24 
  - "Congress is determined to force Gonzales from office or send him to jail"  L. Coyote   May-18-07 07:20 AM   #25 
  - "force Gonzales from office or send him to jail"  pberq   May-19-07 10:42 AM   #89 
  - I'm picturing a car chase with Gonzales in a white Bronco  nuxvomica   May-18-07 07:48 AM   #27 
  - OMG. I can see it now.  lonestarnot   May-18-07 08:32 AM   #32 
  - this is a great line about gonzo and his boosh....  leftchick   May-18-07 07:56 AM   #28 
  - me too, and everything John Dean said in his book  alyce douglas   May-18-07 10:56 AM   #52 
  - If anyone knows DC corruption, it's John Dean. It must be  blondeatlast   May-18-07 08:00 AM   #29 
  - Gonzo is going to jail  formercia   May-18-07 08:39 AM   #33 
  - Someone from VT and PA should forward this on to the Senate Judiciary  Norquist Nemesis   May-18-07 08:43 AM   #35 
  - Dean also dissects Gonzales' actions in raiding Jefferson's Congressional office.  seafan   May-18-07 08:56 AM   #37 
  - "a determination to codify these procedures" which will be nullified  Amonester   May-18-07 12:35 PM   #60 
  - K&R  Strawman   May-18-07 09:05 AM   #38 
  - My prediction: Memorial Day Recess Appointment  mile18blister   May-18-07 09:06 AM   #39 
  - Dean is right! It can be done... and here is how....  Blackhatjack   May-18-07 09:10 AM   #40 
  - That would give Bush a huge  zorbasd   May-18-07 08:35 PM   #78 
     - If Chimpy could be baited into such a foolish strong arm...  Mr_Jefferson_24   May-18-07 11:16 PM   #84 
     - This is reminiscent of Jeb sending in the FDLE to rescue Terri Schiavo.  seafan   May-19-07 08:55 AM   #88 
  - The public tolerates this criminal behavior  ejbr   May-18-07 09:31 AM   #42 
  - This whole process  saddlesore   May-18-07 09:46 AM   #44 
  - It's just you  krispos42   May-18-07 03:21 PM   #70 
  - I have another idea  Time for change   May-18-07 10:16 AM   #47 
  - Not enough votes in the Senate for impeachment to be effective n/t  GOTV   May-18-07 11:27 AM   #55 
  - Whoa! Talk about Dojball. nt  valerief   May-18-07 10:32 AM   #48 
  - Who did this?  tblue37   May-18-07 10:54 AM   #51 
  - Here's one example from January, 2006:  seafan   May-18-07 11:09 AM   #54 
  - We have a Congress full of Democratic Arlen Specters  rudy23   May-18-07 11:03 AM   #53 
  - I think you're right n/t  GOTV   May-18-07 11:28 AM   #56 
  - SHUT Down the DOJ TODAY and get bush's TOADIES!  katty   May-18-07 01:37 PM   #62 
  - "Arrest Abu G (the Senate has the power -- says so right here on"  StefanX   May-18-07 02:27 PM   #64 
  - So what is congress waiting for? The Bush administration is now  whistle   May-18-07 04:36 PM   #72 
  - I'm sure the weasel is not far off 'resigning'  bambino   May-18-07 06:00 PM   #75 
  - Congress MUST act-They can't let this stuff go n/t  deacon   May-18-07 06:51 PM   #77 
  - You're right, the MUST act! but they won't.  Kablooie   May-18-07 08:58 PM   #79 
  - K & R Fitzgerald got excellent advice in the form...  Mr_Jefferson_24   May-18-07 10:33 PM   #82 
  - Recently, Gonzales's refused to fully comply with the subpoena for Karl Rove's emails regarding his  Maryland Liberal   May-19-07 12:08 AM   #85 
  - Pahleeze- WTF are you saying? Didn't you get the memo???  BeHereNow   May-19-07 12:14 AM   #86 
  - Finally, someone points out that the "balance of power" ISN"T "equally divided". . .  pat_k   May-19-07 11:28 AM   #90 
  - Maybe Bush would the restore habeas corpus.  rug   May-19-07 11:30 AM   #91 

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators

Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC