WASHINGTON (AP) -- "An FBI raid on a Louisiana congressman's Capitol Hill office was legal, a federal judge ruled Monday.
Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan said members of Congress are not above the law. He rejected requests from lawmakers and Democratic Rep. William Jefferson to return material seized by the FBI in a May 20-21 search of Jefferson's office.
In a 28-page opinion, Hogan dismissed arguments that the first-ever raid on a congressman's office violated the Constitution's protections against intimidation of elected officials.
Jefferson's theory of legislative privilege 'would have the effect of converting every congressional office into a taxpayer-subsidized sanctuary for crime,' the judge said.
Hogan acknowledged the 'unprecedented' nature of the case but said 'a Member of Congress is generally bound to the operation of the criminal laws as are ordinary persons.'"
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