Cold Cash update: On trial and about to win another term
posted at 3:10 pm on November 18, 2008 by Ed Morrissey
Have you wondered what happened to Rep. William “Cold Cash” Jefferson? The Louisiana Democrat remains in Congress despite the discovery of almost $100,000 cash in his freezer and evidence of bribery and corruption. In fact, he faces a run-off election for his seat, one which he’s favored to win, in the same week that his federal trial finally begins:
Remember William Jefferson, the Louisiana congressman who was indicted last year on bribery, racketeering and money laundering charges?
Well, he’s still in Congress, and he’s likely to stay there for a while.
Technically, Jefferson still has to win a Dec. 6th runoff in Louisiana. But his opponent, little known Republican lawyer Anh “Joseph” Cao, stands little chance in Louisiana’s heavily Democratic second congressional district.
Ironically, Jefferson’s long-delayed federal trial is also likely to start that week — Dec. 2nd in Virginia.
Last week, the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals cleared the way for the trial to start — upholding his indictment by ruling that Jefferson’s rights weren’t violated when the grand jury received evidence that violated legislative immunity.
Well, isn’t that special? Jefferson’s constituents will likely send back an indicted politician rather than elect a Republican. (In Alaska, the voters apparently made a different choice in the Senate race, but Ted Stevens actually got convicted.)
Meanwhile, the Democratic leadership that promised The Most Ethical Congress Evah still allows Dollar Bill Jefferson to retain his seat on the Homeland Security committee. They may act to strip him of that in the next Congress, but by that time his trial will likely have concluded, one way or the other. If convicted, he’ll get booted out of Congress, and if acquitted, the House Ethics Committee will likely only give him a slap on the hand for his corruption — and he may get his seat on Ways and Means back.
Maybe the GOP should spend some money in LA-02 the next couple of weeks. Why not give New Orleans a real choice for representation in Washington?