Friday, June 16, 2006

Rep. Jefferson stripped of committee seat

I supposed that's the least they could do for taking a $100,000 bribe and stuffing it in his freezer.

WaPo - The House of Representatives today followed last night's decision by the Democratic Party to strip Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-La.) of a plum committee assignment while he is embroiled in a federal bribery investigation.

The move by the full House came on a voice vote with no dissenters and no debate.

No dissenters and no debate. I guess it's kind of hard to debate facts like $90K in cash in you freezer given to you by FBI agents. Of course if they rolled over and gave up, what fun would that be?

Jefferson, who has denied any wrongdoing, was on the House floor at the time of the vote. He and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus were talking in a tight circle, according to the Associated Press.

Denied wrongdoing? What'd he think that money was for? Tax refund? And what do you think the "Black Caucus" was talking about... "Why the hell do they call us a caucus? That's racist!"

Last night's 99 to 58 Democratic Party vote followed weeks of public and private wrangling, as Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) sought to take a strong election-year stance on ethics, while Jefferson's allies -- mainly fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus -- protested that he was being singled out for unfair treatment.

Actually I think he was singled out because he took a bribe, but that's just me. Last I checked that's still against the law.

The bribery investigation involves Jefferson's alleged role in African business dealings. The pressure from Pelosi and others was stepped up when the FBI revealed it videotaped Jefferson accepting $100,000 in $100 bills from a government witness, explaining that he would pass it on to the vice president of Nigeria to assist in a telecommunications deal. All but $10,000 of the cash was later found in Jefferson's freezer in his Washington home.

And they got it on video?! That's awesome. I'm surprised that being stripped of his spot on Ways & Means is all they've done to him so far, although I'm sure that's just the beginning...