On Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, Ill. Sen. Dick “the Turban” Durbin was asked many pointed questions about FISA, Abrahmoff, Clinton, Alito, etc. Chris hit SEVERAL home runs, and here are just a few of them:
When asked about the NSA…
WALLACE: Senator, when the Clinton administration authorized the search of Aldrich Ames, the Soviet spy’s home and office back in the 1990s, they said the president has the inherent constitutional authority to do so. No Democratic leaders that we could find squawked at that point about what President Clinton was doing.
DURBIN: Well, remember, at that moment in time, the FISA law did not cover physical searches. It only dealt with wiretaps. So what the president did was not violating the FISA law.
WALLACE: No, but he was violating other laws, wasn’t he? I mean, here he was authorizing a search without â€” a physical search of somebody’s home without any court order.
DURBIN: Let me finish, if I might. President Clinton then came to Congress and asked to amend FISA to cover physical searches. (huh? You gotta be KIDDING me! Clinton being oh-so conscientious AFTER he himself violated the law?) In other words, the president was willing to step forward and say let’s create a legal standard that will apply to me and every other president so that our administration will follow a law and have court approval even before physical searches.
So the intent and the actions of the Clinton administration are in sharp contrast to what we face with this administration. If the president came forward and said there’s a real threat, we need to change the law so that I have the power to deal with it, you can bet Congress would work overtime to get that done.
Then later on Abramhoff (oh, this is REALLY good):
WALLACE: Senator, your boss, the Democratic minority leader, Harry Reid, says this is a Republican scandal. He was here on “FOX News Sunday” and said that. He said don’t shove it off on the Democrats.
But in fact, doesn’t this cross party lines? I’d like you to take a look at something if you will, sir. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, you’ve received $14,500 in contributions from Abramoff-related lobbying firms and Indian tribes, and you’ve given away $11,000 of that money to charities.
Aren’t you and aren’t the Democrats just as guilty as the Republicans? And let me ask it a different way. Are you the ones to clean up Congress?
DURBIN: Well, let me tell you, I’ve never met Jack Abramoff, his wife or had any meeting with him. He and his wife donated $204,000 to politicians over a five-year period of time. Every single penny went to a Republican congressman or senator.
Now, let’s be very clear about this. He had clients that sent unsolicited contributions to my campaign and others, among them some Indian tribes, and the political action committee at the law firm that he used to work at, even though I understand he didn’t contribute to it.
Oh, SLAM DUNK TWO TIMES! Durbin tried to play it off, but it came off SO transparent! Full transcript here.