Both parties have protested the Saturday night search of Jefferson's office on Capitol Hill, which they said violated the Constitution's separation of powers doctrine.
FBI agents searched Jefferson's office in pursuit of evidence in a bribery investigation. The search warrant, signed by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Hogan, was based on an affidavit that said agents found $90,000 in cash stashed in the freezer of Jefferson's home.
Democrats, meanwhile, tried to get Jefferson to resign his seat on the House's most prestigious panel.
"In the interest of upholding the high ethical standard of the House Democratic Caucus, I am writing to request your immediate resignation from the Ways and Means Committee," wrote Pelosi.
Jefferson was defiant.
"With respect, I decline to do so," he wrote back to Pelosi. "I will not give up a committee assignment that is so vital to New Orleans at this crucial time for any uncertain, long-term political strategy."
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales tried to strike a conciliatory tone, saying, "We have a great deal of respect for the Congress as a coequal branch of government." But he also defended the search: "We have an obligation to the American people to pursue the evidence where it exists."