For all the silly Bush-haters who harp hysterically on every petty issue as an opportunity to vilify the “evil Republicans”, here is something that you might be able to actually sink your teeth into. Be forewarned, though: it appears that both Democrats and Republicans have been implicated in this investigation. For most liberals, this means falling back on a familiar tactic: Blame the “Eeeevil” Republicans! But for now, it seems that rampant corruption has been uncovered on both sides of the aisle and one has but to sit back and examine the rhetoric of partizan pundits as they attempt to spin their own version of this story before the public in an effort to exert some measure of damage control. This story appears to have all of the ingredients that would make it as big, or bigger, than Watergate. I hope that it will eventually get some legs under it and receive the relentless media attention that it deserves. This is HUGE! ------------------------------------------------------ By Dan Eggen and Peter Baker The Washington Post WASHINGTON — The Justice Department signaled to the White House this week that the nation's top three law-enforcement officials would resign or face firing rather than return documents seized from a Democratic congressman's office in a bribery investigation, administration sources familiar with the discussions said. The possibility of resignations by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales; his deputy, Paul McNulty; and FBI Director Robert Mueller was communicated to the White House by several Justice officials in tense negotiations over the fate of the materials taken from Rep. William Jefferson's office, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Justice prosecutors and FBI agents feared the White House was ready to acquiesce to demands from House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and other lawmakers that the materials be returned to Jefferson, D-La., who is the subject of an FBI criminal investigation. Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, David Addington, was among the leading White House critics of the FBI raid, telling officials at Justice and on Capitol Hill he believed the search was questionable, several sources said. Administration officials said Friday that the specter of top-level resignations or firings at Justice and the FBI was a turning point in the standoff, helping persuade President Bush to announce a cease-fire Thursday. Bush ordered that the Jefferson materials be sealed for 45 days while Justice officials and House lawmakers work out their differences, but he also made it clear he expected the case against Jefferson to proceed. Spokesmen for the White House, Cheney's office, the Justice Department and the FBI declined to comment. White House officials were not informed of the search until it began last Saturday and did not recognize the political ramifications, the sources said. By Sunday, however, as the 18-hour search continued, lawmakers began lodging complaints. Addington raised heated objections to the Justice Department's legal rationale for the search during a meeting Sunday with McNulty and others, several sources said. The talk of resignations adds another element to the tug of war that has played out since last Saturday, when about 15 FBI agents executed a search warrant on Jefferson's office in the Rayburn House Office Building. The raid — the first physical FBI search of a congressman's office in U.S. history — sparked an uproar in the House, where Hastert joined Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in demanding that the records be returned because they viewed the search as an illegal violation of the constitutional separation of powers. Hastert wrote in an editorial page article in USA Today on Friday that House lawyers are working with the Justice Department to develop guidelines for handling searches of lawmakers' offices. "But that is behind us now," Hastert wrote. "I am confident that in the next 45 days, the lawyers will figure out how to do it right." Also Friday, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., met with Gonzales. "I want to know exactly what would happen if there is a similar sort of thing" in the Senate, Frist said. "We've been working hard already, and we'll continue to do so pursuant to the president's order," Gonzales said. Jefferson, 59, has been under investigation since March 2005 over allegations that he took hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for using his congressional influence to promote business ventures in Africa. Two people have pleaded guilty to bribing him, including Brett Pfeffer, one of his former aides, who was sentenced Friday to eight years in prison by a federal judge in Alexandria, Va.. An FBI affidavit released this week alleged that Jefferson was videotaped taking $100,000 in bribe money and that a search of his apartment turned up $90,000 of that money wrapped in foil inside his freezer. Jefferson, who has not been charged, denies wrongdoing. Material from The Associated Press is included in this report. Here's the link: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2003022280_jeff27.html .