Thursday, August 04, 2005

Feds take a closer look at "Dollar" Bill ...

U.S. Representative William Jefferson (picture from his congressional web site) best summed up this still breaking story on Wednesday afternoon:

"Today, federal law enforcement officers executed search warrants on my Washington, D.C., and New Orleans homes as well as my vehicle in Washington. Subpoenas were issued to me, in my official capacity, to the clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives and to members of my Washington and New Orleans office staff. I do not know the extent or precise nature of this investigation but I am cooperating fully with the authorities."

In an "interview" of sorts on the TV news, I saw U.S. Attorney Jim Letten stop to tell a reporter that basically he could sooooo not talk about it. He would not even say if his office had knowledge of or was involved in the search.

WDSU did manage to get some perspective on these actions from former Assistant U.S. Attorney Julian Murray:

"This is astounding," Murray said. "You can't say it's unprecedented, but it certainly is quite a move. I mean, a man's home and his car -- to get any magistrate or judge to issue a search warrant for a United States congressman, you can pretty much imagine there has to have been a lot of probable cause would have gone into that."

Jefferson was elected to Congress in 1990 as the first black House member in the state since Reconstruction, and serves on the influential House Ways and Means Committee. His district includes most of New Orleans.

Jefferson’s brother-in-law, former judge Alan Green was recently convicted of mail fraud. The evidence presented in that case included phone conversations between the two that revealed some questionable approaches to campaign finance.

So, is "Dollar Bill" a goner? I found it very interesting that Jefferson did not spout the usually proffered political statement about how he is completely innocent and will be totally vindicated.

What’s your take on this story?


jbv's Competitive Edge 


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