Thursday, June 08, 2006

Jefferson refuses to go quietly

More great reporting, from Christina Bellantoni of (ahem) The Washington Times:
Rep. William J. Jefferson yesterday spoke to two Democratic Capitol Hill groups in making his case to remain on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.
The Louisiana Democrat, the subject of a bribery probe, repeated his long-standing claim of not being guilty to both the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee and the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). ...
Top Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, have called for Mr. Jefferson to leave the prestigious Ways and Means Committee.
Though Mr. Jefferson has not been charged with a crime, court documents say the lawmaker was videotaped accepting a $100,000 bribe, and authorities found $90,000 cash in his freezer. Two other men already have been convicted in the probe.
He told the two Democratic groups again yesterday that he will not relinquish his post.
While the CBC supports him, the steering committee soon will decide whether to issue a symbolic "no confidence" vote against Mr. Jefferson and will decide whether to recommend that the full Democratic caucus make the same gesture. Only the full House can remove a member's committee assignment in the middle of a session.
So, in a make-or-break election year, Pelosi has to choose between keeping Jefferson -- whose scandal is spoiling her "culture of corruption" theme -- or alienating the CBC. It's so fun to watch the CBC making Nancy sweat.

Previously on WM. JEFFERSON

6/05: FBI raid constitutional?
5/24: Don't resign, Mr. Jefferson!
5/21: Caught on tape
5/3: Illegal to give, illegal to receive?
4/4: A tale of two congressmen
2/17: You know it's bad when ...
1/17: Knee-deep in the Big Muddy

-- McCAIN

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