Rep. William Jefferson, (Democrat-LA) has apparently been found with his hand in the cookie jar—better make that a mouthful of pie, with evidence smeared around his greedy lips. It doesn’t look like he’ll be “movin’ on up” anymore.
The Daily Muck has plenty of details on how this public servant has been serving himself in private.
There’s little comfort in knowing that Jefferson’s corruption (if proven, and the evidence offered so far sounds damning) is nowhere near the level and scale of Abramoff and it remains to be seen whether it approaches that of Duke Cunningham’s ( which it still may).
Sure there’s plenty of comedy to be had from his sheer incompetence in hiding $90,000 cash in the fridge (greens go in the crisper, not the freezer), but then again he didn’t major in Home Economics; his specialty was the law—he used to be a JAG, he’s a Harvard Law School graduate and he’s a law firm partner.
Oh yeah, and he’s one of those guys who gets to write the laws that the rest of us are supposed to abide by.
He has spent a good deal of time speechifying about Katrina and FEMA naturally, but apparently he’s been under investigation by the FBI (since March 2005 at least).
Interviewed by Paula Zahn of CNN on 9/14/2005 (not the most professional of reporters IMHOP) Jefferson caught some quite (though not completely) unfair shit from her about visiting his house in the aftermath thanks to government resources (everyone was doing it). But she did ask a very pointed question:
ZAHN: Congressman, one final question for you tonight. You are, of course, as we mentioned in the preceding piece, the subject of a federal investigation. Your home in Washington had been searched before, your home in New Orleans. Was there anything in that house that you were trying to get out that was critical to this ongoing FBI investigation?
JEFFERSON: I would doubt that.The thing that I wanted to get out was my daughter's laptop computer and my daughter's suitcase that I took away. The FBI had been in my house, as you know, for seven, eight hours. Whatever was there, they got it. I had been living in my house for three weeks after they came. If there was anything in there, I could have taken it then. There was no reason to go in there to retrieve anything related to the investigation. This is all NRCC smear they're putting out, which is quite a shame
The “smear” defense is an easy excuse, playing to the notion that the Republicans are masters at it. Whilst that is I think true, Jefferson doesn’t back up the claim (conveniently he’d run out of time!). He also said very reasonably that the FBI had plenty of time to find anything incriminating for a period of weeks (and they’d certainly have the power and the smarts to subpoena his daughter’s laptop). But he also said he would already have removed evidence ( doh!)
But his immediate response to Zahn asking if there was anything he was trying to remove that might be critical to the FBI investigation was “I would doubt that”.
Surely his answer should have been no—either the truth or a lie, but anything other than I WOULD DOUBT THAT!!
There’s one other odd thing about Jefferson.
He voted for the permanent repeal of the so-called “Death Tax” on April 13 2005, ( search through his speeches starting with this Project Vote Smart link) disputing that it affected only the wealthiest and arguing that the law somehow cost more to apply than the $20-odd billion it produced annually.
I guess he was looking to the future when he’d be able to hand over his two houses and some freezers full of cash to his five daughters , because after all, doesn’t every American deserve to move on up and get a piece of the pie?
Adios pie-hole! Enjoy being Abramoff's bitch in the slammer!