House leader says FBI raid may warrant Supreme Court review

House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Tuesday the Supreme Court probably will have to sort out the issues raised by the unprecedented FBI raid on the Rayburn Building office of Rep. William Jefferson, D-La.

"I've got to believe at the end of the day this is going to end up across the street at the Supreme Court," Boehner said. "I don't see anything short of it."

Boehner told reporters Tuesday that he supports the position of House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., regarding the constitutional questions stirred up by the raid.

"I, clearly, had serious concerns about what happened and whether people at the Justice Department have looked at the Constitution lately," Boehner said, adding that he was "throttling himself back" at the advice of his staff to temper his comments on the issue.

Hastert said he will consult with Democratic leaders after a full review of the facts to decide how to proceed.

"I expect to seek a means to restore the delicate balance of power among the branches of government that the founders intended," Hastert said Monday. Boehner said the raid was not discussed when GOP leaders met with President Bush Tuesday.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., also told reporters Tuesday that he shares the concerns of the speaker. As for Jefferson, Hoyer said House Democrats are unlikely to take any action against him unless he is indicted. "If he is charged, we may have to address that," he said.

Jefferson sits on the exclusive Ways and Means Committee.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec