Rep. William Jefferson scored a legal victory today, winning the return of privileged materials from a FBI raid on his office. An appeals court said the raid itself was not unconstitutional, but the search of legislative materials was illegal. It’s unclear whether the ruling will affect the 16-count indictment against the congressman, but the Justice Department said it changes nothing.
The court ruled that documents covered under a constitutional clause that allows Congress to act independently of the executive branch must be returned, but many of the seized materials don't fit that description, the Washington Post reports. The government has maintained it used no privileged materials in building its bribery case against the Louisiana Democrat.