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Hastert, Pelosi demand FBI return evidence from congressional office search

[JURIST] US Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL) [official website] and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA) [official website] on Wednesday demanded [statement] that the Federal Bureau of Investigation [official website] return all evidence seized in its search of the congressional office [JURIST report] of Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) [official website] last weekend in connection to Jefferson's alleged involvement in a $3 billion fraud scam. Hastert and lawmakers from both political parties have called the congressional office search unconstitutional and in violation of the separation of powers, and Hastert personally voiced his objections to the raid [JURIST report] to President Bush on Tuesday. The search warrant obtained by the FBI for the search of Jefferson's office described protective measures to ensure the search did not illegally seize privileged material, including a team of prosecutors and FBI agents not connected to the investigation that monitored the search to review any items seized.

In connection to the fraud allegations against Jefferson, where the FBI used a videotape of Jefferson accepting a $100,000 bribe from an informant to obtain the search warrant for Jefferson's congressional office, Pelosi also asked Jefferson to resign from the House Ways and Means Committee Wednesday. Jefferson said that he will not resign from the post [Times-Picayune report] because it is vital for the citizens of New Orleans to have him on the committee. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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