Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Panel wants Gonzales to testify on FBI

The Hill

House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) announced yesterday that he would invite Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and FBI Director Robert Mueller to testify before his committee about the search of Rep. William Jefferson’s (D-La.) congressional office.

In addition, House General Counsel Geraldine Gennet sent a letter to the Justice Department yesterday recommending a meeting next week to work out procedures that both sides could agree on for federal investigators to search congressional offices.

Sensenbrenner made his announcement during a committee hearing yesterday morning to discuss the constitutionality of the FBI’s late-night raid earlier this month of Jefferson’s office in the Rayburn House Office Building.

“This is a constitutional issue that is a matter of grave concern,” Sensenbrenner said during his closing remarks.

The hearing, which featured a one-sided panel of legal experts and one former member, highlighted the ways in which Sensenbrenner says federal prosecutors violated the Speech or Debate Clause of the Constitution by seizing protected documents as part of their investigation into charges that the Louisiana lawmaker was bribed.......

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