This weekend, the FBI--part of the Justice Department and, therefore, part of the executive branch--raided the congressional offices of Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) seeking evidence for a corruption investigation. Dennis Hastert, alarmed that the executive branch might be weakening an important constitutional principle, showed a rare instance of bi-partisan solidarity in protesting this outrage.
House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) expressed alarm at the raid. "The actions of the Justice Department in seeking and executing this warrant raise important Constitutional issues that go well beyond the specifics of this case," he said in a lengthy statement released last night.
"Insofar as I am aware, since the founding of our Republic 219 years ago, the Justice Department has never found it necessary to do what it did Saturday night, crossing this Separation of Powers line, in order to successfully prosecute corruption by Members of Congress," he said.
When the Bush administration began repudiating treaties that had been ratified by congress, Hastert was silent.
When the Bush administration held policy meetings in secret and refused to let the American people know who attended those meetings, Hastert was silent.
When the Bush administration created the bogus category of "enemy comabatant" for the express purpose of avoiding oversight by the other branches of government, Hastert was silent.
When the Bush administration decided to make America a torturing nation, Hastert was silent.
When the Bush administration decided it could imprison American citizens without trial, Hastert was silent.
When the Bush administration set up a network of secret prisons, Hastert was silent.
When the Bush administration argued that they don't need to obey the law during time of war, Hastert was silent.
When the Bush administration began collecting doisiers on citizens who exercize their right of peaceful protest, Hastert was silent.
When the Bush administration began keeping logs of phone calls by millions of Americans, Hastert was silent.
When the Bush administration added signing statements to as many as 750 laws, passed by congress, stating that they didn't feel bound by those laws, Hastert was silent.
But when the Bush administration starts violating the rights of sitting members of the House of Representatives, by God, Dennis Hastert is going to speak his mind.
Hastert was in the news again yesterday in a completely unrelated story.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dennis Hastert, is under investigation by the FBI, which is seeking to determine his role in an ongoing public corruption probe into members of Congress....
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 who reportedly has provided details of his dealings with Hastert as part of his plea agreement with the government.
Oh, what an privilege it is to live in an age governed by such men of honor and principle.