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
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
Hastert pointed them to the justice department, and they very seldom do this, but the justice department denied it, denied it
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
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
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
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
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
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
This was a search warrant that finally resulted in the search of his office last Saturday night. This was
Now all of a sudden here comes a search
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
You can’t go in and disrupt their
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
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.
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