Justice defends raid of Jefferson office

May 31, 2006 at 10:08 AM

WASHINGTON, May 31 (UPI) -- The U.S. Justice Department says it raided the office of Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., because the lawmaker had tried to hide some documents from FBI agents.

Defending the raid, which it says was part of a bribery investigation, the department said Jefferson tried to hide the documents by slipping them in a blue bag while FBI agents were searching his New Orleans home last year, reports The Washington Post.

The government's filing is in response to a Jefferson lawsuit asking for the return of documents that were taken during the May 20 raid of his Capital Hill office.

The issue has further exacerbated tensions between the Bush administration and Congress, where Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., R-Wis., who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, wants to question top Justice officials about the raid because of constitutional concerns, the report said.

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