Some Good News for "Dollar Bill" Jefferson

| Fri Aug. 3, 2007 1:02 PM EDT

Today, "Dollar Bill" Jefferson received the first bit of good news he's had in some time, at least since August 2005, when the FBI descended on the Louisiana congressman's home and turned up $90,000 in alleged bribe money stashed in his freezer. A federal appeals court ruled today that the bureau's subsequent raid of the lawmaker's congressional office in May 2006, an unprecedented move which sparked outcry from Jefferson's colleagues on both sides of the aisle, was unconstitutional and infringed on the independence of Congress. ''The review of the Congressman's paper files when the search was executed exposed legislative material to the Executive,'' the court ruled. ''The Congressman is entitled to the return of documents that the court determines to be privileged.'' Jefferson's not out of the woods yet. Far from it. According to the Justice Department, it didn't rely on the documents in question when making its case against Jefferson, who was indicted on 16 counts in June.

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