(CNN) – The jury in the corruption trial of former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana was expected to begin deliberating by midday Thursday, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Alexandria, Virginia, said.
Senior U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III began giving jurors their instructions about 9:45 a.m., said Peter Carr. Closing arguments by defense and prosecution attorneys ended Wednesday.
A federal grand jury indicted Jefferson on June 4, 2007, on corruption charges after federal agents said they found $90,000 in his freezer. Authorities said the money was part of a payment in marked bills from an FBI informant in a transaction captured on video.
Jefferson, 62, was accused of using his office to solicit and receive more than $500,000 in bribes for himself and his family in exchange for promoting products and services to countries in Africa.
The Democrat pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of racketeering, money laundering, obstruction of justice and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Carr said Jefferson could face a maximum sentence of up to 235 years in prison, if convicted.
The trial began June 9 with the questioning of a large pool of potential jurors.
Jefferson represented parts of New Orleans for 18 years, nine terms, before he lost his House seat in the December 2008 election.
You know, if they found a huge amount of money in my freezer, I was probably doing something illegal.
Even if he gets of on a technicality, throw him out of congress, with the rest of Republicans, for "a lack of ethics."
If this man were a republican, they would have locked him up already. He should be locked up, an as far as my tax dollars, I'd rather pay for this scum to be behind bars than pay for wild horses to have birth control pills and some land costing around 700 million!
A blot on the Democratic Party. He ought to be punished as severely as Vitter, Sanford, Gingrich and Dubya have been for their crimes.
Whitey made him do it! Power to the black people, go Obama! Maybe Gates can get him a spot in his upcoming racial profiling film...
He just needs to hire O.J. 's lawyers.
What else is there to say other than the man is guilty and should go to jail?
What brought the cops to his house to begin with.........maybe some "racial profiling"? Hmmm......
Now excuse me, Obama is about to give a speech, and i need to get my bib.
He should go to jail, just like so many other crooked and corrupt politicians have. The jerk took advantage of his office and position and should pay dearly for it. Someone get him measured for an orange jumpsuit.
Isn't this story worthy of front page news on your web site CNN? Oops, I forgot, it's a democrat in trouble, so let's bury somewhere else.
If Jefferson is found guilty (I would be amazed if he isn't) he should go to jail and they should immediatly throw away the key. Crooked politicians should pay the price regardless of party. The difference between the Jefferson (Democrat) scandel and the multiple Republican scandels at the same time was that he was immeditly stripped of his positions in various commities and was shunned by the Democratic caucus. Also unlike several Republicans that are in Jail like Duke Cunninham and those over the Abramoff scandel he was stipped of his pension and life long free health care (Learn to read before you open your pie hole southerncousin et. al it is in the public record). Also regarding Charlie Rangal he is still under investigation and Pelosi has requested legal proceedings outside Congress.
Not only was the cash in his freezer... it was marked cash given to him in a bribe by undercover FBI agents... can't get much guiltier than that.
YOu know, this story has gotten relatively little press. Mark Sanford was plastered all over the news. Granted, he had Presidential aspirations. So was Larry Craig. He wasn't running for President any time soon.
This guy was found with money in his freezer! But this story has seemed buried.
I predict he gets relected and Marion Barry and Roland Burris ride his coattails to re-election also. After all, having $90,000 of corrupt cash stashed in your freezer should not define who a person is.
A black man USING the poor people of Africa to make himself rich..and UNDER THE TABLE, at that! I'm guessing he never paid TAXES on that $500,000. And for those who commented that he is Republican, wrong, he is a Democrat.
This story must have been buried. I didn't even know that the trial was going on and I try to stay current on the news. I'm a left wing liberal, but I am starting to believe the right wing when they say that bad actions by Democrats are being buried in the media. Haven't heard a word since the week that they found the money in his fridge. I did hear that his family was involved a few months later but nothing since then.
Speaking of Democratic politicians, I do not believe that CNN reported the fact that 43 of the 44 folks arrested in the New Jersey sweep last week were Democrats.
Another corrupt Republican from the culture of corruption, no doubt!
Oh, what's that? He's a Democrat??
Er, uh... These are not the droids you're looking for.
How's is this behavior different than anyone else in public service? All of them have their hands and arms wide open for the money from every special interest group, Corporation, unions, and Lobbyist. Our representatives are bought and paid for on both sides of the aisle DNC or RNC. They no longer represent the people rather they represent whoever is putting cash in their pockets.
Compared to the Governor of Illinois and the Mayor of Detroit, this guy is an amateur.
This will definitely not be in the news for more than a day or two.
Notice that whenever a Dem is caught doing something wrong, their party affiliation isnt mentioned until near the bottom of the article, but when its a Repub, that will be the opening line of the article?
well...that should take about 90 seconds
This is obviously a case of racial profiling. We all know that white law enforcement is simply out to get every black man in America. The cash in the freezer? don't we all have a stash of cash there?
C'mon Dems! This can't be possible. The Republicans must have had something to do with this. Right?
Corruption looks the same in any party...