(CBS/AP) A congressman under investigation for bribery was caught on videotape accepting $100,000 in $100 bills from an FBI informant whose conversations with the lawmaker also were recorded, according to a court document released Sunday. Authorities say agents later found most of the cash hidden in his freezer.
According to the court document, Jefferson - in one audiotaped meeting - chuckles about writing in code to keep secret what the government contends was his corrupt role in getting his children a cut of a communications company's deal for work in Africa.
However, instead of the Bush administration following the rules in building a case they stage this questionable raid on his office that pushes the line with the seperation of powers.
House Speaker Dennis Hastert questioned whether the raid of the congressman's office, believed the first in history, overstepped constitutional limitations on executive powers.
"Nothing I have learned in the last 48 hours leads me to believe that there was any necessity to change the precedent established over those 219 years," the Illinois Republican said in a statement.
A historian with the Senate Historical Office said there is no record of any member's congressional office being searched.
Hastert said he expects "to seek a means to restore the delicate balance of power among the branches of government that the founders intended" after consulting other House leaders and weighing the long-term consequences of the search.
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