Thursday, May 25, 2006

Mix Master

ABC's Brian Ross is pushing his report that Dennis Hastert is "in the mix" in the Abramoff investigation. After Ross reported that Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert (R-Ill), was being investigated for his fund raising ties to federal inmate #27593-112 (aka Jack Abramoff), Hastert called the report untrue and demanded a retraction. Instead of that, Ross persisted with his FBI sources who confirmed that Hastert was indeed falling under the purview of the Abramoff investigation. The DoJ even issued a denial of the report, though federal investigators say that this denial merely indicates that Hastert is not a "target" or a "subject."

This is all rather bizarre. The DoJ statement reads,
Speaker Hastert is not under investigation by the Justice Department.
This seems pretty unequivocal. Of course, we are talking about a department full of lawyers, so "unequivocal" is probably not a word that should be used in describing anything that might issue forth from such an organisation. Of course, we have heard those exact same words said of Karl Rove before, too.

Reportedly, both federal inmates, #94405-198 (aka Cunningham) and #27593-112, are singing like canaries right now and this is especially interesting in light of the fact that, after the FBI raid on Jefferson's congresssional office, Hastert had immediately denounced the action as a violation of the constitutional seperation of powers. While that appears to be strictly true, it also appears entirely disingenuous. Hastert has never before expressed any concern for constitutional propriety when White House policy has been at issue, such as violations of FISA with the NSA warrantless wiretapping. And, worse, the White House has absolutely subjegated the Constitutional requirement that international treaties be treated as "the law of the land," just as surely as any congressional legislation. Hastert has been remarkably silent as regards the Constitution in application to the White House policy that didn't affect him directly.

But suddenly, with Hastert's clear ties to a convicted felon said to be "fully cooperating" with federal investigators on the radar, the Constitution is held in high regard. Perhaps he thinks that he can stall enough to get that shredder in his office fired up and humming away.


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