Friday, September 28, 2007
Rep. John T. Doolittle (R-Calif.), indicated yesterday that he plans to fight a Justice Department subpoena for 11 years of records that is part of the Jack Abramoff bribery investigation.
That could set up a lengthy court fight over congressional independence. Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-La.) has been locked in a similar dispute over the FBI's raid on his Capitol Hill office last year. A federal appeals court declared parts of that search unconstitutional, a ruling the Justice Department is challenging.
Prosecutors recently demanded documents from Doolittle and five staffers, the congressman said. The subpoenas seek "virtually every record including legislative records" for the past 11 years, Doolittle attorney David Barger said in a news release issued by the congressman's office.
The Constitution prohibits the executive branch from using its law enforcement powers to interfere with legislative business.