|Jefferson to appeal search ruling|
03:56 PM CDT on Monday, July 10, 2006
The following statement was provided by Congressman William Jefferson's defense team regarding Monday's ruling by a Federal judge that the FBI's search of Jefferson's Capitol Hill office was legal:
"The raid on Congressman Jefferson's office was unprecedented, unnecessary, and unconstitutional.
"In this case, 15 FBI agents spent 18 hours looking at every piece of paper in the Congressman's office, and they carted away his computer hard drive as well as the hard drives of every single member of his staff. A bipartisan group of House leaders joined us in court to argue that these procedures were in direct violation of the Speech or Debate Clause of the Constitution, which the Framers specifically designed to protect legislators from intimidation by the legislative and judicial branches. While a Congressman is not above the law, the executive branch must also follow the law."
"We appreciate the consideration the judge accorded our motion for the return of the seized property, but we respectfully disagree with his conclusion, and we intend to appeal the ruling."