Skip to comments.Judge rejects La. congressman's motion (to move trial of William Jefferson D-La)
Posted on 12/01/2007 3:42:29 AM PST by Libloather
Judge rejects La. congressman's motion
By MATTHEW BARAKAT
Associated Press Writer
Posted on Fri, Nov. 30, 2007
ALEXANDRIA, Va. --A federal judge Friday rejected an attempt by a Louisiana congressman charged with taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to move his trial out of northern Virginia.
Rep. William J. Jefferson, D-La., had argued that the government unfairly brought charges against him in suburban Alexandria rather than the District of Columbia because it wanted a venue where fewer blacks are in the jury pool.
Jefferson, who represents much of New Orleans, is black.
Prosecutors contend that northern Virginia is an appropriate venue because that is where Jefferson was caught on videotape accepting bribes, and because the alleged victim in the bribery scheme ran a business based in the area.
U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III scheduled an evidentiary hearing for next month on Jefferson's request to suppress evidence seized and statements he made to investigators in August 2005 when the FBI raided his New Orleans home.
The defense contends that agents went beyond the scope of the search warrant by taking photographs of Jefferson's personal records, and that the manner in which Jefferson was questioned amounted to detaining him against his will.
Prosecutors have said Jefferson volunteered to answer questions during a 2 1/2-hour session. At one point, prosecutors say agents showed Jefferson a videotape in which he was caught accepting a $100,000 bribe. At that point, Jefferson "sunk back onto the couch and, with total dejection, remarked, 'What a waste,'" according to court papers.
All but $10,000 of the $100,000 bribe was found a few days later, stuffed in the freezer of Jefferson's Washington home.
Ellis ruled that the defense could review transcripts of the grand jury investigation to see if prosecutors improperly presented constitutionally protected evidence to the grand jury.
Prosecutors say Jefferson, a nine-term congressman, received more than $500,000 in bribes and demanded millions more between 2000 and 2005.
Jefferson's lawyer declined comment Friday.
He will strike a favorable plea deal the day before the trial starts.
I'm sure his friends in the DBM will do all they can to suppress any news about this.
And don't forget, another popular RAT Senator and Presidential Candidate will also be sitting in the chair next year. Can't wait!
The pool in Alexandria is ‘less black’ than DC but still the area is crawling with libs. Recall, also, that the Libby jury in DC had a fair % of lib whites. Too damned many govt workers.
She will indeed, along with her impeached husband and daughter.
Maybe - but that's gonna be kinda tough to do. Billy Jeff is faced with 16 felony charges. Plea down to what - only 3 felonies? That still places him out of a job and behind bars. He may need for this to go to trial in order to get ALL charges dropped by a sympathetic jury. Fat chance but that's his best option.