June 5th, 2007
01:07 PM ET
11 years ago

Jefferson steps down from House committee

Jefferson stepped down from the House Small Business Committee Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Rep. William Jefferson, the Louisiana Democrat indicted on 16 criminal counts related to corruption Monday, has temporarily stepped down from his post on the House Small Business Committee.

Jefferson informed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, of his decision in a letter dated Tuesday, writing, "I have supported every ethics and lobbying reform measure that you and our Democratic Majority have authored, and I make this request for leave to support the letter and the spirit of your leadership in this area."

"In doing so I,  of course, express no admission of guilt or culpability in that or any other matter that may be pending in any court or before the House of Representatives," he added.

Jefferson was charged with a global campaign to solicit bribes, obstruct justice and engage in racketeering, Justice Department officials said Monday.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: William Jefferson
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Tim St Louis County Mo.

    I agree with Kevin from Green Island, NY
    How will you turn talk into action on issues such as rising energy prices, immigration, health care and taxes? The citizens of America are tired of “talk” we need elected officials who take action that get results that benefit America, not a political agenda. It is time for you to step up to the plate or step out.

    June 5, 2007 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  2. penny chandler shreveport la.

    I have a son serving in Bagdad. my question is when are yall going to bring them home? i believe they need to come home now. my son is the father of a three year old and a new baby that is five days old. The iraq people should be fighting this war themselves. send Bush and congress over there and let them pick up a gun and fight and then i might change my feelings on this war.

    June 5, 2007 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  3. Harold Houfek, San Diego, Ca

    How do you bring back or establish trust in the government and those who serve there ?

    June 5, 2007 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. R. Blouin Miami, FL

    I am "from" New Orleans and now live in Florida. I can only say that it's about time this man is being held accountable for his actions. He has a long history in New Orleans of getting away with unethical and illegal practices. It was an embarrassment that he was re-elected and it speaks volumes about the voters and leadership in New Orleans that supported his campaign.

    June 5, 2007 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  5. Nestor, Austin, TX

    This is sorry. William "The Freezer" Jefferson should be expelled from congress. I hope that he gets the kind of media attention that "Duke" Cunningham got. I hope that this "Most Ethical Congress in History" makes an example out of a Democrat the same way they would if he had been a Republican. Although, if he were a Republican he would have already been forced to resign by now I'm sure.

    June 5, 2007 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  6. bryan tampa Fla,

    This should be on the front page all week long....

    June 5, 2007 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  7. Robert Friedman,West Haven, CT

    What a dirt bag

    June 5, 2007 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  8. David Cross , Richmond , Virginia

    I sure wish the Democrats felt the outrage they pretend when a Republican has even the smallest allegation made against them. What the heck is this man with $90,000.00 in his freezer still doing on Capitol Hill? That he is still in congress stains our entire govermental process.

    June 5, 2007 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    What about freezing US currency? Isn't that kinda like flag burning?

    June 5, 2007 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  10. Matt from Mentor, Ohio

    "I have supported every ethics and lobbying reform measure..." Well, of course he did. What would it say if he didn't? And can anybody explain what "..to support the letter..." means?

    June 5, 2007 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  11. Jay Stevenson, Shreveport, Louisiana

    This crook needs to made an example of and locked up. I'm sure if they investigate it well enough, he can have the company of some family members too.

    June 5, 2007 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  12. LCDR (USN, Retired), San Diego

    Goes to show you that crime doesn't pay. In this case, it isn't about what political party is represented or what race or ethnic group is being "profiled"...its called GREED. One needs to step up to the plate and take responsibility for their actions and it appears that Mr Jefferson has no honor or integrity. Its ashame, because he was voted into office to do a job...represent the people of his district and state.

    June 5, 2007 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  13. Patric, Dallas, TX

    I thought it interesting that when his indictment was announced it took 8 white, justice department officials to do so. Its no wonder JD has such a bad PR image.

    June 5, 2007 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  14. Bob

    I love the honest, pure as the driven snow democratic congress, don't you? Why did people assume the democrats would be so much more honest and open than the republicans? William Jefferson will be the next duke cunningham, possibly worse.

    June 5, 2007 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  15. Elsie E Connelly

    So Jefferson expresses no admission of guilt or culpability in any of the matters in the indictment. Talk about someone living in the clouds. "If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and smells like a duck, IT'S A DUCK. Jefferson is guilty as sin and a liar to boot. He must have learned his truthiness from BUBBA CLINTON "I did not have sex with that woman".

    June 5, 2007 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  16. Steve Tampa, FL

    He is no different than your George W.....a liar, and a cheat...with one exception....George Bush is also responsible for the death of over 3,000 U.S. servicemen and women and the billions upon billions of wasted money on a war we can't win. Wonder how much he is going to collect from all the goverment supply companies(ie. Haliburton) when he leaves office?!

    June 5, 2007 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  17. Brian in Chicago

    Why is it when a Republican (Rep. Foley) allegedly committed an unethical act, by sending qustionable e-mails – but broke no law – he steps down in promotion of ethical responsibility; but when a Democrat (Rep. Jefferson) allegedly committed an unethical act AND allegedly committed a felony, by accepting bribes with marked money on videotape, all he does is step down from a committee?

    "...Most ethical Congress..." Nancy Pelosi – yeah, right. Prove it, Madame Speaker by pressuring the honorable (?) representative from Louisiana to leave the House of Representatives!

    June 5, 2007 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  18. richard Rahway NJ

    He says he is innocent by his lawyers and was framed. I guess our lawyers have nothing better to do thatn spend 2 years investigating a man cause they wanted to pick on him. They don't waste time on innocent people who have 16 counts against them do they?

    June 5, 2007 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  19. E. Fontenot, Lafayette Louisiana

    Well, it's a bout time. This state has had a hard enough time recovering from every natural disaster that could be thrown at it. To have a public official that is supposed to represent us be involved in such corruption is nothing less than a slap in the face of every decent citizen in Louisiana. Of course, re-electing him after FBI agents found "cold" cash in his freezer says alot about the other dubious citizens of our illustrious state. Wake up, Louisiana. We have so much to be proud of – but not this. Put a stop to this embarrassment now. And, a note to Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson – this is not about race – its about ethics and pride – which side of right are ya'll on?

    June 5, 2007 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  20. Liz Roy, Destin, Florida

    Move over, Edwards. Guess who's coming to dinner. Ya'll will have alot to talk about.

    June 5, 2007 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  21. Mark Gieser, Irvine California

    I guess "cleaning up corruption" requires indictments under the Pelosi plan. What about "cold cash" Jeffers?

    June 5, 2007 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  22. Dennis, Conway, Ar

    Mr. Cunningham needs to be held accountable, regardless of his race or his political affiliation. A criminal is a criminal, regardless of the color of their skin or their political party.

    Someone asked how we bring back trust in government and those who "serve" there... answer – elect people who are trustworthy. Fall back to the model of the founders – elect people who don't want to be there as a career. Today we've people in government who have never held any other job! How insane is that?

    We need shopkeepers, farmers, teachers and bank tellers in government instead of career politicians. We need someone who has worked for a living and who has established a record of trustworthyness there – not shysters of any party or race or occupation.

    Instead, we've career politicians, lawyers and used car salesmen in Congress. And we wonder why we have what we have.

    June 5, 2007 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  23. DJ, Torrance, CA

    I am with Steve on this one. Clinton haters: He lied but nobody died.

    Afraid the type of greed and corrpution displayed by Cunningham and Jefferson reaches all the way to the top.

    Stop trying to play Republican vs Democrat on this issue...there obviously are crooks in both parties.

    This is a disgrace. When will the American people wake-up and demand more accountability. It's embarrassing.

    June 5, 2007 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  24. Ben, Dover, Delaware

    What? he just wanted to keep his $90,000.00 cold and fresh

    June 5, 2007 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  25. Carrol Price Williston Florida

    Yes we all keep $90,000.00 on ice in our freezer at home. Fess up you crook.

    June 5, 2007 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
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