Louisiana Congressman William J. Jefferson isn’t have much luck in court.
The case involving the Congressman has raised legal questions and created a bipartisan political firestorm.
In May of this year, federal agents searched his office. The search warrant had been issued by the US District Court for the District of Columbia upon the Government’s showing of probable cause to believe that evidence of a crime would be found in the office.
He filed a motion for the return of the property taken from his office by federal agents. President Bush issued a Memorandum sequestering the seized material for forty-five days. On July 10, 2006, the Court denied the Motion for Return of Property and stated that as the forty-five day sequestering period had expired, the Department of Justice was now free to regain custody of the seized materials and resume its review of the material.
The Congressman then filed a request for a stay of the order allowing the Justice Department to review the material while he filed an appeal of the Court’s order denying his motion for a return of the property taken from his office. The Court has now issued a denial of his request for a stay.
In making its decision the Court found that there was not a likelihood that he would prevail on the merits of his case; that he would not suffer an irreparable injury if the stay was denied; that issuing the stay would cause substantial harm to other parties; and that issuing a stay would harm the public interest.
The way is now legally clear for the Justice Department to review the material seized in the Congressman’s office.
IN RE: SEARCH OF THE RAYBURN HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING, ROOM, NUMBER 2113, WASHINGTON, D.C., Case No. 06-0231 M-01, USDC, DC (July 19, 2006)