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William “Freezer” Jefferson Finally Indicted

From a shocked and outraged Washington Post:


Indictment Sought Against Rep. Jefferson

FBI Probes Allegations Lawmaker Took Bribes to Promote Business Ventures

By Jerry Markon and Allan Lengel
Monday, June 4, 2007

Federal prosecutors are seeking an indictment today against Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-La.) in a longstanding FBI corruption probe centering on allegations that he took bribes to promote high-tech business ventures in Africa, sources familiar with the investigation said.

Prosecutors are presenting the case to grand jurors in Alexandria today, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because no charges have yet been filed.

If filed, the indictment would 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…

Gee, what took them so long?

  Update!

From Fox News:

Congressman Jefferson Indicted on Bribery Charges

Monday, June 04, 2007

WASHINGTON — Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., was indicted Monday on 16 counts related to a long-running bribery investigation on charges including bribery, racketeering, obstruction of justice and money laundering.

The indictment was handed up in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va. A press conference is scheduled for later Monday in Washington to discuss the case.

The 94-page indictment is more than an inch thick, and Jefferson could face a prison term of 235 years if he was convicted on all charges, and given the maximum sentence — although that is unlikely.

Jefferson’s high-profile case included allegations of finding $90,000 in cash in his freezer in 2005 and bribery of Nigerian officials, and an FBI raid on his Capitol Hill office last year that became a constitutional showdown between Congress and the White House. Also, two of Jefferson’s top aides already have pleaded guilty and been sentenced in the case and agreed to work with investigators.

Jefferson, 63, whose Louisiana district includes New Orleans, has said little about the case publicly but has maintained his innocence. He was re-elected last year despite the looming investigation.

Jefferson, in Louisiana on Monday, could not immediately be reached for comment, although members of his staff in Washington said the congressman has not ruled out making a statement today…

Time for the New York Times to crank up their "poor" Mr. Jefferson sob stories again.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, June 4th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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