Disgraced Democrat William Jefferson, formerly a Representative from Louisiana, received a 13-year jail sentence yesterday after being found guilty on corruption charges. It was the harshest penalty ever for a former member of Congress.
From Story Balloon:
William Jefferson was sentenced today for quite a few federal offenses. Among them bribery. He’s most famous for having the freezer with $90,000 in cash inside.
According to Politico:
Jefferson’s sentence was the harshest ever handed out to a former lawmaker, but Justice Department officials said Jefferson warranted such a severe sanction due to the unprecedented scale of his corruption. Jefferson appeared in court Friday afternoon in a black suit and a red tie, with his five daughters, his wife and his brother.
Jefferson did not speak at his sentencing, and his attorney Robert Trout says he will appeal the conviction.
“This sentence should be a clear signal that our society will not tolerate bribery,” said U.S. Attorney Neal H. MacBride. “It’s not just a cost of doing business in government.”
Another federal prosecutor, Mark Lytle, called Jefferson’s crimes “the most extensive and pervasive pattern of corruption in the history of congress.” Click here to read more from Politico.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
Jefferson’s seven-week trial included video and audio tapes of him meeting with a federal informant at Washington D.C. hotel restaurants. Prosecutors said he used his congressional status to concoct schemes that would help pay college tuition for his daughters. Jefferson served on a trade subcommittee and is alleged to have shaken down businessmen who came to his office seeking help with African deals.
Defense attorneys portrayed Jefferson as possibly unethical but not a criminal and said he was a victim of an over-aggressive prosecution aimed at “bagging a congressman.” They said Jefferson was entrapped by investigators who wired the informant to try to nab him. Click Here For More From The Wall St. Journal.
View the entire article here.