RUSH: I said last week, “I’ve never seen the Republican base, the conservative base, more upset with its party in the 18 years I’ve been doing this program than over this immigration bill,” and today, folks, with what’s happening on the William Jefferson (Democrat-Louisiana) case and the way the House is having conniption fits over the so-called Saturday Night Massacre which was the search of his congressional office last Saturday night. If you combine these two things, if you combine the House of Representatives’ leadership reaction to the warranted search — there was a warranted search. The executive branch did not invade the legislative branch. They went to a judge.
The judicial branch authorized the search of the office of Congressman William Jefferson (Democrat-Louisiana). The House leadership reaction — and not just the House leadership, both parties’ reaction — to this search of a congressman’s office with all the evidence that has been revealed around his activities, the disconnect there, and the disconnect with the Republican Party and its elements over immigration, I have never seen anything like this in the 18 years that I have been doing this program. The House Post Office and the House Bank Scandal were close, but folks, I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s breathtaking to see how literally out-of-touch and tone deaf all of these people inside the Beltway are. They know full well how you feel about immigration, and it doesn’t matter!
They’re mooning us. They’re flipping us the bird. By the way, I got complaints. We illustrated Congress mooning us graphically at RushLimbaugh.com, and I got some e-mail complaints on it. We did little baby butts. McCain and some of these other guys, Chuck Hagel, put their faces on baby bodies with the diapers down, and I still got complaints from people that it was too risqu?, that they “didn’t expect to see that” when they logged onto my website. We’re going to be talking about all of this today, and then you have ABC which ran this special investigative unit report that Hastert was under investigation by the justice department over his role with Jack Abramoff clients.
Hastert pointed them to the justice department, and they very seldom do this, but the justice department denied it, denied it twice, said (summarized), “There’s no investigation. He’s not under investigation. Hastert’s not a target of anything we’re looking at here regarding Abramoff.” They even had the assistant attorney general go out and say this on the record — and ABC is standing by its story! Now, there has to be something going on here. The Drive-By Media is the Drive-By Media, but there’s got to be somebody in the justice department telling Brian Ross, “Oh, yes, there is something going on with Hastert.” The way this has manifested itself ABC said, “Well, Hastert is not the target, but he’s involved in the investigation,” despite the fact the justice department said no!
If you ask me — and I’m only speculating; that’s all we can do here — this is so extraordinary, if you ask me, somebody if the justice department is upset at the way congressional leaders (Hastert, et al) have reacted to their search of the office of Congress William Jefferson (Democrat-Louisiana), and I think you might say, “Well, why is the House so disconnected from everybody on this?” Everybody knows. This is simple. You and I could not get away with hiding evidence of a crime in our house, and if somebody came and did a search we couldn’t say, “You give me that stuff back. You have no right!”
They (Congress) demand to have that right. Now, no law enforcement official could go into a congressman’s office and steal or use any kind of a legal mechanism to get legislative materials, but we’re not talking legislative materials. We’re talking evidence of a crime in a congressman’s office who refused a subpoena for eight months! This was not a massacre; this was not a surprise. They’ve been trying to get in there for eight months. They finally found a way to do it because they ran out of… Well, there just wasn’t any cooperation.
This is simple for people to understand, and yet I think — on the House side, on the House Republican side I think — there’s a lot of bitterness at the White House, and this is probably the way that it manifests itself. They’re upset over the Dubai Ports Deal. They’re upset that Porter Goss was sent packing. He was one of them. They’re probably upset that the president’s led them down a path here that imperils their reelection. So there’s some real, real turf battles going on here in Washington. The Senate is voting on its asinine immigration bill today, and I have a number of ways I’m going to put this in perspective just as I did the Dubai Ports Deal, except in this case, I’m going to be on all of your people’s side, whereas on the Dubai Ports Deal I was standing alone against the wind.
RUSH: Let’s go to the audiotape. Here is Elizabeth Vargas, ABC’s World News Tonight last night.
VARGAS: We begin with a major development in a Washington bribery scandal. Tonight sources tell ABC News the case involving convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff has led FBI investigators to some of the most powerful members of Congress, namely the man second in line for the presidency after the vice president. Our chief investigative correspondent, Brian Ross, joins us with his exclusive report. Brian.
ROSS: Elizabeth, federal officials tell us that congressional bribery investigation now includes the Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert. Based on information from the convicted lobbyist, justice department officials described the 64-year-old Illinois Republican as “very much in the mix of the corruption investigation.”
RUSH: Well, they went then and talked to Stephanopoulos. They bring him in to discuss this “potentially seismic” event. Elizabeth Vargas, who is the pregnant infobabe being moved aside here for Charlie Gibson, said, “The political implications of Speaker Hastert is now a target, George, what are they?”
STEPHANOPOULOS: Potentially seismic, Elizabeth, and it really is going to depend on the facts and whether prosecutors can common sense a quid pro quo, that Hastert took that official action in return for the campaign contribution. As Brian said, he’s denied that. If they can prove that, if they can get an indictment, this would be a political earthquake.
RUSH: Well, the only problem with this is none of it’s true! That’s a pretty big problem but it hasn’t deterred ABC from continuing to report this story. After all this came out the department of the justice went on the record and released the following statement: “Speaker Hastert is not under investigation by the justice department,” but our man Brian Ross, the ever, ever, ever pursuant investigative reporter says he has “knowledgeable sources inside the Department of Justice” who say that Hastert is under investigation. Now, there could be any number of explanations for this. One of the possibilities is it’s typical Drive-By Media.
Okay, you’ve got a Democrat in trouble over there, Congress William Jefferson (Democrat-Louisiana). “Let’s try to take the heat off him, he’s one of our boys, and let’s focus on Hastert.” It could also be that somebody in the Department of Justice is leaking to ABC that Hastert is part of an investigation, because the Department of Justice is upset over the way Hastert and the boys have reacted to the search of the office of Congressman William Jefferson (Democrat-Louisiana). ABC is sticking by its story despite the denial (laughing), and local media in Washington of course paying far more attention and credence to ABC’s unnamed, anonymous source than they are to the express denial on the record by the Department of Justice.
I have in my formerly nicotine-stained (shuffling paper) fingers a copy of the letter to ABC that lawyers for Denny Hastert have mailed. It’s addressed to David Westin, George Stephanopoulos and Brian Ross…
RE: False Story Regarding Justice Department Investigation
Dear Mr. Westin, Stephanopoulos, and Mr. Ross:
At 7:25 p.m., the Statement of the Department of Justice confirmed:
?Speaker Hastert is not under investigation by the Justice Department.?
At 10:21 p.m., you wrote:
?Whether they like it or not, members of Congress, including Hastert, are under investigation,? one federal official said tonight.?
This statement is false, and your republication of it after actual knowledge of its falsity constitutes libel and defamation. ABC News? continued publication of this false information, after having actual knowledge of its falsity, evidences a specific and malicious intent to injure and damage Speaker Hastert?s reputation by continued repetition of a known falsehood.
We will take any and all actions necessary to rectify the harm ABC has caused and to hold those at ABC responsible for their conduct.
Please advise regarding who will accept service of process to remedy this intentional falsehood.
Very truly yours,
J. Randolph Evans
Stefan C. Passantino
Counsel to Speaker J. Dennis Hastert
RUSH: It’s a Twilight Zone! Everything that’s going on here, immigration, the disconnect between the House and the American people over the search of the office of Congressman William Jefferson (Democrat-Louisiana), and now ABC sticking with a story that’s been officially denied by the Department of Justice, which is the arm that would be investigating Hastert if such things were happening! They stick with an unnamed, anonymous source over an on-the-record associate attorney general’s flat-out denial, and now they’ve been threatened with lawsuits and so forth and so on. When I saw this last night, when this first happened, this leak that Hastert was being investigated, it just smelled.
It smelled like crap, frankly, to be quite honest with you.
The timing here was very, very suspicious. Brian Ross can be a menace, folks. I’ve had my own little run-ins with him where he has gotten it totally wrong about me, and when that happens to you, it’s quite natural that you begin to doubt other things that people report when you discover that. Like who would ever believe Dan Rather again, for example? So it’s a strange situation to observe, and ABC, as far as I know — and I haven’t seen anything since we went on the program today. I haven’t seen anything from ABC that says they’re discontinuing the story, just some speculation as to why they’re sticking with it, which I have come up with my own theories and shared them with you twice already. I don’t want to become redundant.
“Some lawmakers are warning of a voter backlash now against members of Congress…” Really? What was their first clue? I wonder what would give them their first clue. “…who are trying to protect their own if party leaders keep escalating a constitutional dispute over the FBI’s raid of the office of Congressman William Jefferson (Democrat-Louisiana).” Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi has gone public again on camera saying, “I want him off the Ways and Means Committee.” She even went to the Congressional Black Caucus and said, “Get him out of there.” The Congressional Black Caucus said, “Who are you saying to what? Huh? Huh? What, babe? Who you saying? Who? What?” This is accusing her of almost racism because it wouldn’t have happened to a white guy. Oh, folks! I mean, it’s a laugh riot. What we’ve always thought about Congress is actually being demonstrated to be true.
RUSH: Asheville, North Carolina, and another Jim. Welcome, sir, great to have you.
CALLER: Hey, mega dittos, Rush.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: It’s an honor to speak with you.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: The reason I called was to make the point that if Congress was fighting this subpoena with such force and statements, why would anyone give a darn about their subpoenas when they subpoena people from the other branches whether it’s the executive branch, ordinary citizens, business leaders. If they’re not going to honor a legal or legitimate subpoena from another branch of government, why should anyone care about their subpoenas?
RUSH: Well, one thing, now. It’s a great question, and I raised it yesterday. This is from the same bunch of people that’s constantly using its subpoena power to drag anybody and everybody up before them to explain what for. These are the guys that go out and write all these laws, spend all this money, and then when it’s not spent correctly or it’s not allocated properly or things go wrong, they pretend they have nothing to do with it. They get away with acting as spectators, and they bring everybody up and put ’em under the lights and, “We’re going to get to the bottom of this to find out how you screwed up and how we can pass the blame off to you from us,” and they subpoena people all the time to come up there. Now, in the case of Congressman William Jefferson (Democrat-Louisiana).
This was a search warrant that finally resulted in the search of his office last Saturday night. This was not a subpoena. They have been trying for eight months. In addition, folks, Andy McCarthy, in the Post at National Review Online today, points out that the justice department was very careful in the way they did this search. No agents that had been involved in the original investigation did the search. They shuffled agents two or three times to make sure that the agents that were actually doing the searches and the investigations only knew specific items and that’s what they were specifically looking for and that’s what they specifically got — and they did it with a search warrant, which happens to be issued by a judge. It’s so asinine because we’ve had the whole Congress going bonkers lately about “warrantless searches” of individual citizens, the Bush “domestic spy program,” yada yada yada.
Now all of a sudden here comes a search with a warrant from a judge, which is the judicial branch. This was not the “executive branch” storming into his office and taking things out of there. This was exactly how it would happen with you or I. We know what he was trying to hide in there, or we’re pretty sure we know what he was trying to hide in there — and for members of Congress to have no anger about what he was doing, but instead focus on the FBI and the justice department in this, is simply outrageous — and I’m telling you, it represents a disconnect that is pretty big, and this — as I said at the top of the program — this is easy to understand.
The American people could not in any way, shape, manner or form, get away with what William Jefferson and the rest of the Congress is trying to let him get away with by returning whatever was taken from his office. It’s absurd! Nobody elects people intending for them to be immune from the law. Now, we understand that you can’t go in there and steal legislative documents — although that has happened. You remember some of the memos that popped up on Republican computers in the Senate judiciary committee staff about strategy, that the Democrats on that committee were using to thwart Bush judicial nominees? This stuff does happen, but that was legislative to legislative.
You can’t go in and disrupt their duties as lawmakers, but their duty as lawmakers does not allow you to hide $90,000 or $100,000 in cash. It does not allow you to hide records of the commission of a crime. Otherwise you could commit murder and stash the body in the congressional office and get away with it because there’s no evidence. You couldn’t get the evidence. It’s absurd, and nobody thinks that members of Congress should have this kind of immunity from the law, and with these guys coming out and demanding that this search be squelched and the materials be given back, represents one of the biggest disconnects from leaders and elected officials to their constituents and the citizens of this country that I have ever seen. You want to hear something that’s actually even weirder than all this, is Barney Frank this morning on the House floor during one minute speeches.
FRANK: I disagree with the bipartisan House leadership criticism of the FBI search of a member’s office. What we now have is the congressional leadership, the Republican part of which has said it’s okay for law enforcement to engage in warrantless searches of the average citizen [sic] now objecting with a search pursuant to a validly issued warrant is convicted of a member of Congress. What they did, they ought to be able to do in any case where they can get a warrant from a judge. For the leadership of this house which has stood idly by while this administration has ignored the rights of citizens, to then say, “We have special rights as members of Congress,” is wholly inappropriate.
RUSH: Unbelievable! Barney Frank is coming out against Hastert; he’s coming out against Frist, on the basis that the American people are searched without warrants every day in the domestic spy program and this is outrageous that they are defending Congressman William Jefferson (Democrat-Louisiana)! Let me tell you something. I’m going to tell you what this confirms. What this confirms is something I’ve been trying to tell these guys for the 18 years I’ve been behind this microphone, specifically since 1994: “You cannot make friends with these people.” I told you yesterday. I said, “One of the possibilities, the reason why Hastert and the boys are coming out and opposing this search warrant, is because they want to curry favor with the Democrats.”
We’re trying to curry favor with the Democrats on immigration, aren’t we? We’re trying to out-Democrat Democrats on immigration, aren’t we? Thank you, Senator McCain! Why wouldn’t we do it here? And because Congressman William Jefferson is black, Republicans, might have a little guilt. “Ehhh, we don’t want to appear to be going after Congressman Jefferson. He’s New Orleans. We feel so bad about his district and so forth.” So they stand up for Congressman Jefferson and his, quote, unquote, “rights as a congressman,” and what do they get? Barney Frank slamming them for not having the sensitivity to understand how this is totally inappropriate!
Yet they think it’s okay to spy on the American people without warrants. (singing) “My Boy Lollipop ba-bamp-bump-bump.” That’s our Barney Frank theme song. We didn’t have time to play it here. So I want to go back, folks, because people have forgotten where this William Jefferson stuff started, and my source? (laughing) ABC News, Jake Tapper! This is September 13th of 2005. I’ve been scratching the surface of this all week in discussing the trials and tribulations of Congressman William Jefferson. Let’s listen to this. September 13th, 2005, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina:
“Amid the chaos and confusion that engulfed New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina struck, a congressman used National Guard troops to check on his property and rescue his personal belongings — even while New Orleans residents were trying to get rescued from rooftops, ABC News has learned. On Sept. 2 — five days after Katrina hit the Gulf Coast — Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., who represents New Orleans and is a senior member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, was allowed through the military blockades set up around the city to reach the Superdome, where thousands of evacuees had been taken.
“Military sources tells ABC News that Jefferson, an eight-term Democratic congressman, asked the National Guard that night to take him on a tour of the flooded portions of his congressional district. A five-ton military truck and a half dozen military police were dispatched. Lt. Col. Pete Schneider of the Louisiana National Guard tells ABC News that during the tour, Jefferson asked that the truck take him to his home on Marengo Street, in the affluent uptown neighborhood in his congressional district. According to Schneider, this was not part of Jefferson’s initial request. Jefferson defended the expedition, saying he set out to see how residents were coping at the Superdome and in his neighborhood. He also insisted that he did not ask the National Guard to transport him.
“‘I did not seek the use of military assets to help me get around my city,’ Jefferson told ABC News. ‘There was shooting going on. There was sniping going on. They thought I should be escorted by some military guards, both to the convention center, the Superdome and uptown.’ The water reached to the third step of Jefferson’s house, a military source familiar with the incident told ABC News, and the vehicle pulled up onto Jefferson’s front lawn so he wouldn’t have to walk in the water. Jefferson went into the house alone, the source says, while the soldiers waited on the porch for about an hour.
“Finally, according to the source, Jefferson emerged with a laptop computer, three suitcases, and a box about the size of a small refrigerator, which the enlisted men loaded up into the truck. ‘I don’t think there is any explanation for an elected official using resources for their own personal use, when those resources should be doing search and rescue, or they should be helping with law enforcement in the city,’ said Jerry Hauer, a homeland security expert and ABC News consultant. Jefferson said the trip was entirely appropriate. It took only a few minutes to retrieve his belongings, he said, and the truck stayed at his house for an hour in part to assist neighbors.
“‘This wasn’t about me going to my house. It was about me going to my district,’ he said.” Well, the Louisiana National Guard then chimed in, said, “the truck became stuck as it waited for Jefferson to retrieve his belongings. Two weeks later, the vehicle’s tire tracks were still visible on [Jefferson’s] lawn. The soldiers signaled to helicopters in the air for aid. Military sources say a Coast Guard helicopter pilot saw the signal and flew to Jefferson’s home. The chopper was already carrying four rescued New Orleans residents at the time. A rescue diver descended from the helicopter, but the congressman decided against going up in the helicopter, sources say.
“The pilot sent the diver down again, but Jefferson again declined to go up the helicopter. After spending approximately 45 minutes with Jefferson, the helicopter went on to rescue three additional New Orleans residents before it ran low on fuel and was forced to end its mission. ‘Forty-five minutes can be an eternity to somebody that is drowning, to somebody that is sitting in a roof, and it needs to be used its primary purpose during an emergency,’ said Hauer. Coast Guard Cmdr. Brendan McPherson told ABC News, ‘We did have an aircraft that responded to a signal of distress where the congressman was located. The congressman did decline rescue at the time so the helicopter picked up three other people.”
Anyway, what happened is the Guard had to send a second five-ton truck to rescue the first truck and Jefferson and his items because the first truck got stuck in the mud in a lawn outside his fashionable home on Marengo Street in his district. “Jefferson insisted the expedition did not distract from rescue efforts.” Now what all this leads to is that this box, the size of a small refrigerator? It has now been speculated by investigative sources that Jefferson was retrieving the cash that constituted the bribe that he had been paid and so forth. He needed to get in there and get it out. I bring all this history back because, you see what’s happened to this story. Nobody in the House of Representatives except Nancy Pelosi — and she’s even tiptoeing around it — appears to be in the slightest way outraged over what a member of Congress has done.
No, the focus is on the executive branch and how “out of control” they were in this search and how justice department had no right and to business going in there, and we gotta get those materials back, and then ABC chimes in: “By the way, Hastert is the real guy under investigation.”
“Oh, no, he’s not!” says the justice department.
“Oh, yes he is,” says ABC, and that’s where we are.
But the disconnect on this! I’ll tell you what, let these guys keep going. Let them keep saying and doing things as they are, and it’s going to be 1994 all over. You can throw this incumbency-always-gets-reelected rule out of the window here, folks, if this kind of stuff keeps up. This may be impossible for them to do damage control on now, anyway. It’s so absurd, all of this. You couple that with the disconnect on immigration, which is coming up in the next hour and it is… We needed to an investigation. What has happened up there that has so distanced these people from the citizens they serve and the people who elect them?
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