Friday, May 26, 2006
If the NY Times is to be believed, we almost had cause for celebration thanks to William Jefferson and the FBI.
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and senior officials and career prosecutors at the Justice Department told associates this week that they were prepared to quit if the White House directed them to relinquish evidence seized in a bitterly disputed search of a House member's office, government officials said Friday.Our junior varsity Dzerzhinsky has always been concerned about releasing evidence, but usually it is evidence against himself or one of his butt buddies. Maybe this had something to do with it.
Mr. Gonzales was joined in raising the possibility of resignation by the deputy attorney general, Paul J. McNulty, the officials said. Mr. Gonzales and Mr. McNulty told associates that they had an obligation to protect evidence in a criminal case and would be unwilling to carry out any White House order to return the material to Congress.
Tensions were especially high because officials at the Justice Department and the F.B.I. viewed the protest led by Speaker J. Dennis Hastert and House Republicans, as largely a proxy fight for battles likely to come over criminal investigations into other Republicans in Congress.So now they have 45 days to figure out how to get the deserving Jefferson without endangering the Fat Boy and the Boner, and others.
Separate investigations into the activities of the lobbyist Jack Abramoff and Randy Cunningham, the former congressman from California, have placed several other Republicans under scrutiny; in the Cunningham case, federal authorities have informally asked to interview nine former staff members of the House Appropriations and Intelligence Committees, which could lead to a broader inquiry.
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