Let's go semi-open on the whole Jefferson search / Congressional tantrum debacle. Possible discussion points:
(1) How can a Congress that passed McCain-Feingold and dozed through four years of NSA warrantless eavesdropping briefings suddenly pretend to have discovered civil liberties protections in the constitution?
(2) Are the top Congressional Republicans insane or just stupid?
And more seriously - FBI raids on Congressional offices may step on the speech and debate clause if a Congressman alludes to classifed info in a speech and the FBi decides to nail down his source by checking his office files.
Here is the Times: To Ease Standoff, Bush Seals Seized Files
And Mark Kleiman had an interesting twist - sort of a J Edgar Lives! idea that the leak about Hastert also being the subject of an investigation (denied by the DoJ) was the FBI bullying the Congress. Since the CIA is also intent on shaking off executive oversight, it is a troubling notion. Mark introduces the theme here, and I am in broad agreement with his main point about an aggressive FBI.
However, from his follow-up post, I quarrel with this:
9. The FBI just demonstrated why it shouldn't be trusted with that power. The day after Dennis Hastert complained about the raid on William Jefferson's office, "senior U.S. law enforcement officials" told ABC News that Hastert was under criminal investigation in connection with the Abramoff scandal. The Justice Department has now denied that; I'm agnostic, and it may depend on a weaselly definition of "under investigation." (Hastert may be in the investigators' sights while still a "person of interest" rather than a "subject" or a "target.") But the leak almost certainly came from the Bureau, and the only way to read it is as punishment of Hastert and deterrence for others.
The "only way" to read that leak is as punishment? Why are we so sure it is not heroic whistle-blowing, that Hastert has not been sitting on subpoenas from the FBI in order to protect Jefferson and, in an unrelated investigation, himself?
Maybe some hero at the FBI is trying to alert the public to the possibility that (a) the Jefferson investigation is being quashed by the House leadership; (b) the Abramoff investigation is being quashed by the House leadershp, and (c) the FBI budget will be under the ax next year, and current FBI leadership can expect reassignment to the US-Mexican border.
I don't know yet, and I don't see how Mark could.