Pelosi and Hastert to the FBI: Give Back Seized Docs

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is now joining Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) to ask the FBI to give Jefferson his documents back. Their joint statement is less severe than Hastert’s (R-IL) earlier suggestion to freeze FBI agents involved in the raid out the case. Rather, the duo proposes to resolve this Constitutional crisis by the FBI returning Jefferson’s documents to him, so Jefferson can wilfully cooperate (by handing the documents back to the FBI, I suppose).

Somehow I don’t think the FBI will agree. And given Pelosi’s recently demonstrated inability to control Jefferson, it’s not clear she could compel him to comply.

Here’s the joint statement from Minority Leader Pelosi and Hastert:

“No person is above the law, neither the one being investigated nor those conducting the investigation.

“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. These constitutional principles were not designed by the Founding Fathers to place anyone above the law. Rather, they were designed to protect the Congress and the American people from abuses of power, and those principles deserve to be vigorously defended.

“Accordingly, the Justice Department must immediately return the papers it unconstitutionally seized. Once that is done, Congressman Jefferson can and should fully cooperate with the Justice Department’s efforts, consistent with his constitutional rights.

“In addition, the Justice Department must immediately cease any further review of the documents it unconstitutionally seized, ensure that those who have reviewed the documents do not divulge their contents to the investigators, and move in Court to vitiate the search warrant.”