I find this interesting:
We are also told that Gonzales, his new deputy Paul McNulty, and FBI director Robert Mueller had sent word to Bush that if he decided to appease Denny Hastert and the House GOP caucus and return the documents to Jefferson, all three would resign or force Bush to fire them for refusing to do so. We are told that while Gonzales, McNulty, and Mueller took their stand, they were opposed by of all people Dick Cheney and his new chief of staff David Addington, who as former congressional types both thought Gonzales created a major constitutional problem for the White House with their own caucus by having the Justice Department execute a warrant on Capitol Hill. This would be the same Dick Cheney who believes in the imperial presidency, objecting to something an attorney general did who is closer to Bush than anyone else in the West Wing except Karl Rove.
Excuse me if I find all of this to be utter BS. I have no sympathy for Jefferson, a guy who apparently took a bribe, ignored a subpoena, stashed the cash in his freezer, and who voted for the estate tax repeal and the bankruptcy bill in one two-day period last year. The man is no friend of working Americans and is nothing more than a DLC guy on the make. Having said that, what really is at play here is that Hastert finally got a wake-up call after five years that the imperial, unitary executive reserved the right to turn its investigative energies not just at everyday Americans, but also towards Congress as well. And with that, the GOP suddenly cared about privacy and being free from what they deemed to be unreasonable searches and seizures, notwithstanding the fact that Hastert and Frist suddenly were petrified at what the FBI might find in their offices as the Abramoff and Cunningham investigations hit their stride. As the New York Times noted in their account of this dust-up, Gonzales felt that he had to defend his troops here and make the ultimate threat because he believed that Hastert staged this as a proxy fight to box in Justice over the upcoming investigations of the House GOP. Gonzales feels apparently (and correctly) that Hastert was trying to cut off DOJ’s legs in future searches and seizures of Republicans by raising a fuss here on a Democrat unconnected to the bigger GOP culture of corruption. If Hastert and Frist did nothing here in response to the raid on Jefferson’s office, they were worried that it would signal to Justice that open season on Republicans could begin.
Pass the popcorn, because it is gonna be crazy.