William Jefferson Sentenced

Friday November 13, 2009 is not a day that former Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson will remember fondly. The Louisiana Democrat who lost his seat in 2008 to Republican Joseph Cao while he was under indictment for bribery and racketeering - and who was convicted of the charges earlier this year - was sentenced today to 13 years in prison.

More from Roll Call:

A federal judge sentenced ex-Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) on Friday to 13 years in prison, the longest incarceration ever ordered for a former Member of Congress.

The sentence falls short of the maximum 33 years federal prosecutors recommended in court documents. Jefferson's attorneys recommended a term of no more than 10 years.

A federal jury in August found Jefferson guilty of 11 criminal charges, including conspiracy to solicit bribes, money laundering, wire fraud and a pattern of racketeering activity.

The jury determined Jefferson may have to forfeit up to $471,000, plus additional stock holdings, the income that he received as a result of those criminal activities.

Judge T.S. Ellis said: "Public corruption is a cancer. It needs to be surgically removed."

Indeed. Good riddance.

There is also a complete story at the New Orleans Times Picayune.

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William Jefferson MUST leave Congress!!!!!

     Though many on both Mydd and Daily kos are strong advocates of leftist primary challenges to more centrist congressmen (as illustrated by the Fallon/Boswell challenge in Iowa), I personally oppose challenging centrist congressmen in swing districts because it could potentially imperil the democratic majority in the House. However, as with all rules there exists an exception, this one in the form of Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson.
       Having been indicted on numerous charges of corruption, Congressman Jefferson has been stripped of his committee assignments in the House, has had numerous members of his family charged on various counts, and can no longer effectively represent the people of his congressional district. (See http://www.dailykingfish.com/showDiary.d o;jsessionid=E6298C977E4A404458FB4DDB4C1 AA242?diaryId=754) Now, the Jefferson political machine is very strong, as illustrated by his 2006 reelection over Karen Carter, so it will take a concerted effort to defeat him in Louisiana's new primary system. At the present time, Jefferson is merely a distraction from the Democrat's purpose in congress and provides fodder for Republican attacks linking him with Obama. ANYBODY is better than congressman Jefferson, a sentiment felt by most except for his many African American followers in his district. Please, can't we agree that Jeffeson has got to go?

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I just had to write this diary...

What the hell is going on in NOLA!!!  (New Orleans, LA)

After Karen Carter lost to William "Dollar Bill" Jefferson, I thought are these people really not in reality zone.  First, the CBC (Congressional Black Caucus), there is not ENOUGH INTERNET SPACE to talk about them.  This is the same organization after "Dollar Bill" was under investigation and Speaker Pelosi withdrew him from the Ways and Means Committee had a downright, down south, hissy fit.  Of course, this man should have been removed, if he had stayed it would make a mockery of the democrats and "ethic reform".  Of course, they stand by "Dollar Bill", now remember this is the same group that stated, urgently we should play "nice with Fox News and go on with the Democratic Debate." 

Now we have a bunch of people raving in New Orleans for "Dollar Bill".  "When it's all over, Bill Jefferson will stand up like Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver. He will stand up in the South and he will be victorious," said the Rev. Samson "Skip" Alexander."

What is next?  I mean, talking about hypocrisy, this man really need to resign.  One thing about Republicans, when they are caught "dirty" they LEAVE OFFICE.  Now, we have "Dollar Bill" refusing to do so, and more so at the expense of the Democratic Party.  What more can we say about him?  A flawed man, caught on tape and audio performing an illegal deal, in the Capital Hill cafeteria, while being taped!!  Wow, that is just as bad as 90K wrapped in foil and baggies, in the 'fridge!!  Reminds me of "Dollar Bill" during Katrina, using the resources of the military to retrieve a briefcase and items from his home.  I always wondered, why the hell is he doing that?  When people need to be saved, food gotten to them, away from havoc!!!  And he selfishly, used the emergency resources for his own purposes.

I don't know what is on the "bird" of those folks in New Orleans.  I understand the history of police/justice abuse involving AA citizens, but come on 90K in the 'fridge and you don't have a story "convincing" enough to explain it?  This man is a disgrace to his family, friends, community, and colleagues in congress and must resign!!!  Then I will gladly send the good folk in NOLA some of my "brain pills" so they can find "common sense".

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William Jefferson: 419 victim?

From Facing South, apparently indicted Rep. William Jefferson today issued a statement in which he asserted his innocence of the charges against him. When he got to explaining where the $90,000 in his freezer came from, though, he said something downright odd:

Did I bribe a foreign official? Absolutely not. The $90,000 was the FBI's money. The FBI gave it to me as part of their plan that I would give it to the Nigerian Vice President. But I did not do that. When all of the facts are understood, I trust I will be vindicated.

I... What? The Nigerian Vice President? I think I've received that spam before. But no, apparently there's a real connection of some sort there:

The impact of the [Jefferson bribery] case even has roiled presidential politics in Nigeria. According to court records, Jefferson told associates that he needed cash to pay bribes to the country's vice president, Atiku Abubakar.

Abubakar denied the allegations, which figured prominently in that country's presidential elections in April. Abubakar ran for the presidency and finished third.

In Lagos, Nigeria, Abubakar spokesman Garba Shehu said the former vice president "has always denied wrongdoing in the matter."

"He has only had official interaction with the congressman, who the vice president felt deserved a hearing because he was a ranking member of the U.S. Congress," Shehu said. "The vice president was in no way cited in this thing, so we feel vindicated."

Court records indicate that Jefferson was videotaped taking a $100,000 cash bribe from an FBI informant. Most of that money later turned up in a freezer in Jefferson's home.

What on earth is this all about? Is Jefferson really going to explain himself in court by claiming that these events were not bribery but simply Jefferson enacting an elaborate secret plan for the FBI?

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Jefferson: CBC decide on a minstrel show, it seems

To judge from the delay in the corporate response, perhaps the CBC needed some persuasion to get their folks in line.

But was there ever any doubt as to the result?

From the CBC site:

Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-MI), Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) released the following statement on the indictment of Congressman William Jefferson.  

"The charges against Congressman William Jefferson are serious and warrant thorough deliberation. The law of the land entitles every citizen to presumed innocence until the court of law deems otherwise. We trust the merits of the case against Congressman Jefferson will be examined in a court of law and not the chambers of public opinion."           

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