Wednesday, May 24, 2006
What's More Important, Investigating Crime or Breaking Protocol? (revised)
A Democrat Congressman is under investigation for accepting a bribe, and FBI investigators sought and received a search warrant to enter the Congressman’s home where they discovered $90,000 in cash hidden in his freezer wrapped in aluminum foil. Next, investigators raided the Congressman’s Capital Hill office where they seized records.
What is interesting about this case is where the outrage is targeted. You can make the argument that at this stage there should be no outrage, because the Congressman has not been found guilty of any wrong-doing, although it certainly doesn’t look good for him. But his fellow House members aren’t angry that a fellow Representative may be guilty of wrongdoing, they are angry that investigators invaded what they perceive as the sanctity of Congressional offices.
House leaders and House members are outraged at the Judicial Branch approving the "raiding" of a Legislative Branch office by an agency of the Executive Branch. Noting the Constitutional mandate of separation of branches of our government, the separation of powers, and the system of checks and balances, and understanding the need for those provisions, and further acknowledging the importance of observing Constitutional protections, one can and should wonder if investigating crimes involving the potential selling of government influence ought to be obstructed by an element of our Constitution intended to protect the people from government mischief? In other words, should the government not investigate crimes that lead them into the House Office Building just because it is the House Office Building?
Technorati Tags: Corruption, Constitutional Issues, Crime, House of Representatives, Congress