The USA Today Debate today is a good one. On one side, you have a very good read about Congress’ lack of concern for our civil rights, but their impassioned protection of their own. On the other side, you have a laughable op-ed from Dennis Hastert.
If the information we have read about the behavior of Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., seems as obvious to a jury as it does to me, he deserves to be vigorously prosecuted. I do not want to do anything that will interfere with that prosecution.
Except bitch and moan about the warrant and the search, and support a 45-day delay in the prosecution because the next warrant may or may not have your name on it. Other than that, you won’t do anything to interfere. But then, not doing anything has been sort of the hallmark of an institution left to police its own members.
The FBI explained that the documents seized in the Jefferson case were subpoenaed nine months ago. His home was raided by the FBI in August of 2005
. The investigation has been public knowledge for quite some time. An aide negotiated a plea agreement and began offering testimony against Jefferson in January
Yet it was only one week ago
that the House Ethics Committee felt it was necessary to begin an investigation
It is glaringly apparent, to even the most casual observer, that the Congressional Ethics/Investigation system is broken. When Duke Cunningham has a “bribery menu printed on Congressional note cards
“, and William Jefferson is caught on tape accepting a suitcase full of cash, and yet the House ethics committee waited almost a year to investigate Jefferson, and, apparently did not ever launch an investigation into Cunningham
, you have a problem.
Frankly, Mr. Speaker, I, at this point, am so sick of seeing articles detailing the dirty deeds of members that I would be in favor of a blanket investigation into the whole lot of you.
The lesson here is “Get your House in order, Mr. Speaker, or the Federal Bureau of Investigation will do it for you.”