Looks Like A Bad Call To Me

Today, the President ordered the documents seized from Rep. Jefferson’s office to be sealed for 45 days. Why? Apparently at the request of Speaker Hastert, who is trying to deflect long-standing linkage of him to corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff which recently re-surfaced, much to his chagrin.

As I wrote last night, there is absolutely no reason for Bush to defer to Hastert on this one. The FBI did everything right. Although Bush seems to want to aggrandize his power in virtually every other sphere of influence imaginable, he’s backing down here. I just can’t figure out why he would do such a thing. He’s holding all the cards. The guy who’s going down is from the opposition party and obviously a crook. The action is to his political advantage — and his party’s political advantage. The White House seems to have nothing to lose if Jefferson goes down.

So what’s the deal? What’s the game — or is this a seriously badly blown call? At this point, I can’t see any advantage here. Why is Hastert making such a fuss, and why is Bush backing down?

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.