Officials: Jefferson Charges by July


Federal officials tell ABC News they already "have enough evidence to arrest" Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA) but will wait until a grand jury in Virginia returns a formal indictment. Charges are expected within four to six weeks on allegations Jefferson took bribes in exchange for his official help with a telecommunications contract in Africa.

Department of Justice officials are considering making public redacted portions of the search warrant application to deflect criticism of the FBI's unprecedented raid on Capitol Hill.

Republicans and Democrats Monday suggested the FBI raid violated the Separation of Powers doctrine of the U.S. Constitution.

Some of the redacted pages reportedly lay out the month-long sequence by which the FBI had sought to obtain documents and computer discs from Jefferson's office through the use of a grand jury subpoena.Officials say the House of Representatives General Counsel made copies of the requested documents and discs several weeks ago but then refused to turn them over.

Officials said Judge Thomas Hogan himself suggested the FBI request a search warrant for the Capitol Hill office of the Congressman, which Hogan authorized last Thursday.

The FBI used a special "filter team" of agents not connected with the case to guarantee that  "politically sensitive" documents were not taken as evidence.

Congressman Jefferson has called the raid "outrageous" but declined to answer the question of whether he took bribes.

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