Culture Of Corruption
Great article from Andrew McCarthy today titled, Who's 'Trampling' The Constitution?
Here are a couple highlights from it:
The speech-and-debate clause (Art. I, Sec. 6) is all the shield an honest public servant should ever need. It ensures that if a member of Congress is tending to legislative business—not just by speeches on the floor but through engagement in any legitimately legislative activity—that member need never fear prosecution or other legal fallout based on anything said or done. No resulting remark or action, however egregious—and no matter how quickly a similar transgression would subject a private citizen to crushing liability—can be used to threaten jail time or damages against one of the people’s representatives.
For congressional leaders, however, that is not enough. When it comes to their perks, nothing ever is.
They demand, instead, to be immunized from even being investigated. With stunning hauteur, they insist that “their” office space—space that actually belongs to the American people, and in which legislators enjoy the high privilege of serving the American people—has somehow transmogrified into their very own private felony safe harbor: An exclusive, members-only club, where evidence of bribery, fraud, obstruction, and any other violations of law and betrayals of the public trust can be hidden beyond the prying eyes of the public’s enforcement officers.
Before he could authorize the search warrant, federal district judge Thomas Hogan had to make three findings that, naturally, congressional leaders prefer to ignore. There had to be (a) probable cause that a crime had been committed, (b) probable cause that evidence of that crime was inside the office, and, significantly, (c) particularity. This last owes to the Framers’ revulsion against so-called “general warrants” and “writs of assistance” which permitted indiscriminate searches of private property. The Fourth Amendment calls for search warrants to describe specifically the premises to be searched and the items to be seized.