On Monday a Federal Grand Jury indicted Rep. William Jefferson (LA) on 16 counts including racketeering, solicitation of bribes, honest services fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice, violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and conspiracy.
These are the kind of charges that one would expect for a mafia boss. Jefferson seems to be following in a long line of corrupt Louisiana politicians and giving Tony Soprano a run for his money.
Following the indictments Jefferson resigned from his only committee assignment but that's not good enough--he needs to resign. The Democratic Party needs to show that they do not do business as the Republicans have done in the last Congress. If Jefferson is convicted on all charges he could receive a maximum sentence of 235 years in prison!! If he is indeed convicted then he should serve the maximum because the charges are so many and so agreegious.
However, I do not believe that he should be explused before he is convicted as despite all the evidence he is allowed a fair trial and forcing him out of the House based on an indictment alone is going to far. That being said, he would do everyone a lot of good by resigning completely as a member of Congress.
Republican hypocrisy?? What a shock:
The move by House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) to seek Jefferson's expulsion based solely on an indictment -- rather than a guilty verdict -- is not only wrong in principle, but it is also hypocritical. In September 2006, after Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) pled guilty to influence peddling, Boehner was asked on Fox News Sunday if Ney should resign from Congress. Boehner, who was then Majority Leader, said Ney shouldn't be forced to leave office. "That's a decision that he and his family are going to have to make," Boehner told host Chris Wallace. When former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) resigned from Congress last year after being criminally-indicted for money laundering, Boehner sang his praises, saying "he has served our nation with integrity and honor, and I'm honored to call him my colleague and friend." Many conservatives in Congress who are now pushing for a hasty expulsion of Jefferson were the same lawmakers attempting to change House ethics rules in 2005 so that indicted members could continue to hold leadership posts. They eventually reneged after "the so-called DeLay Rule" was heavily criticized.
GOI: If the Democrats try to defend Jefferson in a similar way then I will move even further away from that party toward independence. I'm already a registered independent anway.
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