I didn't think it was possible, but the Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) case just got even uglier.
Today the Justice Department filed their response
to Jefferson's lawyer's motion
, where he argued that the search violated the "Speech or Debate" clause of the Constitution and demanded that the FBI return the seized documents. It is a lengthy, detailed dismantling
of that argument - and TPMm readers interested in the Constitutional questions here should give it a read.
But beyond the legal argumentation, prosecutors supply the most detailed version
of their case against him so far. And they explain why it is that they needed to raid his office - because they don't trust him to turn over evidence. According to an FBI agent's affidavit
appended to the filing, Jefferson tried to "surreptitiously remove
" documents while the FBI was searching his home in August of last year.
The agent provides a detailed narrative
of catching Jefferson trying to hide the document. According to her, Jefferson, while sitting at his kitchen table during the search, hid the papers under a copy of the subpoena that agents had served on him. He then asked to move to the living room after it had been searched and placed the documents in a blue bag there which agents had already been through. She continues: