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Senate leaders not so upset over FBI raid

May 29, 2006 at 1:40 PM

WASHINGTON, May 29 (UPI) -- Some U.S. Senate leaders seem less outraged than those in the House over FBI's search of the office of Rep. William J. Jefferson, D-La., in a bribery probe.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist doesn't see any constitutional problem with the search, reports The Washington Post.

"No House member, no senator, nobody in government should be above the law of the land, period," Frist was quoted as telling "Fox News Sunday."

Frist said he had consulted with U.S. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and concluded the FBI acted appropriately when it used a warrant to search the office of a sitting lawmaker for the first time in history, the Post reported.

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., have said the search was illegal. President Bush has ordered the Justice Department to seal the materials for 45 days until congressional leaders and the department can agree on the next step.

Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., the assistant minority leader, said he is not sure whether the "speech and debate" protections in the Constitution were violated by the search.

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