Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) held hearings today on the FBI search of Rep. William Jefferson’s offices (D-LA). You’ll recall that Sensenbrenner is still smarting over the WH dumping of the immigration bill in his lap — and now it may be time for a bit of payback.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner said Tuesday he will summon Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and FBI Director Robert Mueller before his panel to explain their decision to raid a lawmaker’s office for the first time in history.
"I want to have Attorney General Gonzales and FBI Director Mueller up here to tell us how they reached the conclusion they did," said Sensenbrenner, one of President Bush’s most loyal House allies. Sensenbrenner’s hearings, which began Tuesday, are examining whether the May 20 raid violated the Constitution.
Calling the decision to authorize the raid "profoundly disturbing," Sensenbrenner signaled that he would not be among the lawmakers backing off their criticism of the Bush administration….
At this point, I’m not sure anyone knows which end is up in all of this. Rep. John Conyers asked today why it was that Jefferson’s attorneys were not allowed to be present during the 18-hour search nor anyone from Congressional staff or legal. There was testimony today from Jonathon Turley and Bruce Fein which called the constitutionality of the warrants into question. Meanwhile, Sen. Bill Frist appears to have flipped his flop again on this. And the threat of resignation from Gonzales, Mueller and others is still hanging out there — along with the Cheney support of Hastert.
All I know is, when Sensenbrenner titles his series of hearings: "Reckless Justice: Did the Saturday Night Raid of Congress Trample the Constitution?," you know that the cat fight is on.