Supreme Court Stands Pat on FBI Raid of Rep's Office

Separation of powers violated, appeals ruled
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2008 1:24 PM CDT
U.S. Rep. William Jefferson, D-New Orleans, talks to the media after voting in New Orleans in this Dec. 9, 2006, file photo.    (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
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(Newser) – The Supreme Court declined today to hear an appeal of a ruling that the FBI violated separation-of-powers law in a 2006 raid on the office of Rep. William Jefferson, the New York Times reports. Though the raid itself was not unconstitutional, an appeals court found, the FBI went too far in allowing agents to look through the Louisiana Democrat's documents.

The Bureau—which brought charges including bribery, racketeering and conspiracy against Jefferson—was forced to return the documents, but kept hard drives and other materials seized in the same raid. Jefferson has denied allegations he accepted bribes to secure business deals in Africa; lawmakers of both parties roundly criticized the White House for allowing the raid. (Read more William Jefferson stories.)