From the Washington Post:
A little-noticed aspect of an appellate court decision could sharply limit investigations of members of Congress and hamper ongoing corruption probes, the Justice Department said this week in a motion seeking an emergency stay of the ruling.
The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit was handed down in August in the case of Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-La.), but its effects complicate other investigations, including those stemming from the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. Justice Department lawyers said in their motion that the appellate ruling represents an "unprecedented expansion" of the "speech or debate" clause of the Constitution, which was intended to protect legislators from intimidation under civil or criminal law. They said the decision calls into question the legality of investigative tools such as wiretapping, searches of home offices and voluntary interviews of congressional staffers.
All those methods have been employed by the department in ongoing investigations of current and former members of Congress, many of them over dealings with Abramoff.
So, Pat, during all your attacks on Dems over earmark transparency you were hiding your own Christmas tree earmark. Then we find out from our FEC files that during all your rants about Democrats wanting to hide the values of their homes, you were hiding two homes and illegally not reporting another land assets. And we know you love to scream and whine and moan about corruption and here the judges appointed by your man friend, George, are protecting you from future investigation and prosecution.
What about investigation and prosecution scares you the most, Pat? Your ties to Abramoff? Or your pandering for Blackwater? Or just for all the real estate "deals" you keep getting with your corrupt bidness buddies in your own district.
What else are you and your friends trying to hide? To answer that question I guess I should just check out your current rant. It seems that to get your talking point for the day, you just look in the mirror.
Here's a few 'graphs from Down with Tyranny
What do Jerry Lewis (R-CA), Tom Delay (R-TX), Ken Calvert (R-CA), Tom Feeney (R-FL), John Doolittle (R-CA), Denny Hastert (R-IL), Heather Wilson (R-NM), Gary Miller (R-CA), Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Virgil Goode (R-VA), Don Young (R-AK), Ted Stevens (R-AK) and a dozen other crooked Republican lawmakers have in common today? They're all celebrating an appellate court decision that the Justice Department says will sharply limit investigations into their criminal activities.
Bush's incompetent and overly partisan appointments to the courts have ruined the entire justice system of the United States and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia is now an outgrowth of the neo-nazi outfit known as the Federalist Society. They are making it impossible to prosecute the overt criminal activities of bribe-taking congressmen by abusing statutes "intended to protect legislators from intimidation under civil or criminal law."
The Federalist Society court has ruled the Justice Department can't use evidence against the crooked Republicans that was obtained through court-approved wiretaps, searches of home offices and voluntary interviews of congressional staffers. Of the 10 current members of the court, seven are rabid right wing fanatics appointed by Reagan, Bush, Sr and, mostly Bush, Jr, who allowed the Federalist Society to dictate each nominee, none of whom faced any serious opposition from a collaborationist Senate.
The entire Republican Culture of Corruption case and the hundreds of millions of dollars involved in the Abramoff/Delay scams will be dismissed if the decision stands. And who will overrule it? Scalia? Thomas? Roberts? Alito? Not likely. The decision makes it nearly impossible to investigate crooked congressmen.