Monday, June 04, 2007

Jury Indicts Rep. Jefferson in Bribery Probe

By Jerry Markon and Allan Lengel
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, June 4, 2007; 2:40 PM

Rep. William J. Jefferson was indicted today in a longstanding FBI corruption probe centering on allegations that he took bribes to promote high-tech business ventures in Africa.

The Louisiana Democrat faces charges that include racketeering, money laundering, wire fraud and conspiracy to solicit bribes by a public official. The 16-count indictment was returned by a federal grand jury in Alexandria.

Federal officials have scheduled a 3:30 p.m. news conference to discuss the 94-page indictment, which could land Jefferson in prison for life if he is convicted on all counts. The charges cap a long and tumultuous investigation that was stalled for months because of a legal battle over the constitutionality of an FBI raid on Jefferson's office last May. The raid came after the FBI found $90,000 in the freezer of his Capitol Hill home.

A political and legal maelstrom followed the raid, prompting President Bush to intervene and seal the seized documents for 45 days. In July, U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan, who had signed the search warrant, ruled that the raid was constitutional. The U.S. Court of Appeals has yet to rule on the matter.

Jefferson, 60, is a potential political embarrassment for Democrats, just months after they took over control of Congress. Democrats had campaigned last year on the theme that Republicans had created a culture of corruption. In July, the House officially expelled Jefferson from the prestigious Ways and Means Committee.

At the time, then House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the allegations against Jefferson were too egregious to wait for a legal resolution.

"This isn't about proof in the court or law; this is about an ethical standard," she said. more

My magic 8 ball states definitely when I ask it if he will be found guilty on the majority of indictments. This case also shows that no party is without stain. After all the Democrats just hid all of their spending earmarks after promising transparent ethical government. Not the way to win big in 2008.
The more things change the more things stay the same it seems.