Belaboring the Obvious

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Hastert... The Sequel

Well, was the many-chinned man from Illinois fighting to preserve the Constitutional independence of Congress in railing about the Bush administration's search of William Jefferson's House office, or does he have some mixed motives here?

It was here that I suggested that Mr. Hastert didn't seem too upset until after the search was completed (even though he probably could have instructed the Capitol Police to refuse the FBI entry on Constitutional grounds), so there might have been some desire on his part to make a stink afterwards in order to deter a similar search of Republican offices.

Yes, that's deeply cynical, and I shouldn't doubt the seriousness with which Hastert has protected the institution of the House of Representatives, and I should be heartily sorry for even thinking ill of Hastert's motives, given his record of selfless defense of the rules of the House.

I should be sorry, but, darnit, it's just so difficult to be contrite in the face of this news:

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, ABC News has learned from high level government sources.

Federal officials say the information implicating Hastert was developed from convicted lobbyists who are now cooperating with the government.

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.

The letter was written shortly after a fund-raiser for Hastert at a restaurant owned by Abramoff. Abramoff and his clients contributed more than $26,000 at the time.

(hat tip to TPMmuckraker for the above)

So, maybe the Speaker did have another reason for being upset by the Justice Department's marked disrespect for the Constitutional integrity of Congress.

Or, maybe he's a true patriot.

Yeah, right.

No amount of cynicism can keep up with the brass ones on these guys.

(graphics appreciation to


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