A BIT MORE ON HASTERT ET AL.
(and a curious Freudian slip)
Chances are you've already seen this, from ABC News:
Federal officials say the Congressional bribery investigation now includes Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, based on information from convicted lobbyists who are now cooperating with the government.
Part of the investigation involves a letter Hastert wrote three years ago, urging the Secretary of the Interior to block a casino on an Indian reservation that would have competed with other tribes.
The other tribes were represented by convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff....
CBS adds this:
The outrage was so heated that that the White House was worried House Republicans could call for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resign, CBS News has learned.
Wow. And there's this:
CBS News has learned that high-ranking officials at the Justice Department were on the phone every step of the way as the FBI searched Jefferson's office.
What hubris. The thoroughly politicized Bush Justice Department violates custom, if not law, so it can have a high-profile raid of a Democratic congressman's office, micromanaging that raid (which I'm sure was scheduled after consultation with Karl Rove) -- and the Bushies were too stupid (or arrogant) to realize that raiding offices made their own party's congressional delegation nervous and vulnerable. Forget right and wrong: Is this how these people play political hardball? Do they talk to anybody before they do anything? Even their own allies?
And here's an odd thing in connection with this: Gloria Borger did a report on the congressional reaction to the raid on tonight's CBS news broadcast -- and in conversation with anchorman Bob Schieffer about the raid she said this (emphasis mine):
...SCHIEFFER: Well, does anybody really have sympathy for this congressman? I mean, ninety thousand dollars in cash was found in his home freezer.
BORGER: Right, that's the irony here, Bob. Nobody really wants to defend Congressman Clinton. Democrats are privately looking for someone to run against him in his congressional race....
Say what? I know the congressman's name is William Jefferson, but really now -- are the two of them that hard to tell apart? What is Borger thinking?
(Watch the clip here; choose "Both Parties Irate At FBI Raid.")