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. Anonymous

    Sentence structure problem. "In doing so I, of course, express..." not as disclosed "In doing so, I of course, express..."

    When you have a phrase separated by two commas, the sentence should be read inteligently with and without the phase.

    Please improve the proof reading on this site. In the past 15 years more typo and poor sentence construction has been noticed.

    June 5, 2007 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  2. Andrew M., Raleigh, NC

    Anyone who wants to make this a partisan issue is a serious partisan. I am a registered Democratic voter, and I want to see Jefferson face the music. It's pretty clear to me that he is a crook - not based on this story but, rather, on following the coverage pretty closely.

    I think folks should lay off the partisan garbage and insist that all politicians regardless of party affiliation (or lack thereof) be held accountable for their deeds and failures. Furthermore, elected and/or appointed officials should be expected to be exemplary in their words and deeds, not merely ordinary.

    Rep. Duke Cunningham had it coming. So did Rep. Bob Ney. And so does Rep. Jefferson. It ain't about the party, folks. It's about the Rule of Law and that notion that we aspire to be a nation of laws, and not a nation of men/women.

    June 5, 2007 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. Brian, Juneau AK

    If found guilty of simlar charges in China this man would be executed. In his position of trust I can't say that I disagree with the position of the Chinese. If guilty this man should be thrown in the big house for the remainder of his life.

    June 5, 2007 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |


    June 5, 2007 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  5. David Reynolds, Porter, Texas

    From Huey P. Long to the present, Congressman Jefferson is no worse than Louisiana's other politicians. If you think so, look where the Katrina disaster relief money has gone.

    June 5, 2007 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  6. Pete, Grand Rapids, MI

    "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."
    Posted By Patric, Dallas, TX

    White Justice Department officials? Ah hah! They must be in ca-hoots with the Duke Lacrosse Team, Stone Masons and Illuminati.

    June 5, 2007 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  7. Nelj, Nashville, TN

    To Steve in Tampa. How do you connect greed and corruption to the Fight against Terror? You obviously didn't know anyone that perished on 9/11.

    June 5, 2007 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  8. Craig B. Decorah, Iowa

    Great! One down, and only 434 left to go.

    June 5, 2007 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  9. Kelley, Venice CA

    To equate Jefferson, a corrupt clown from Louisiana in it just for himself with the 'K Street' convicts and resignees and future resignees (Cunningham, Wilkes, Foggo, DeLay, Abramoff, Lewis, the White House Purchasing guy that was Delay's buddy, and the list goes ON...) is to be intentionally blind and/or a Fox viewer. $90K wouldn't cover one round of Delay/Abramoff golf in Scotland, or the marina fees his handlers paid for the 'Duke-stir' yacht Cunningham lived aboard while in Washington. Small potatoes versus a RICO-level criminal conspiracy (read the qualifying crimes for a RICO indictment, maybe you'll understand.) Republicans, putting the 'R' in RICO.

    June 5, 2007 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  10. Sam, Muncie, Ind.

    Funny to see the crying Republicans in here. Where was this moral ethos the last six years while Republican leadership soiled the Constitution? Fortunately, this guy had the decency to step down of his own volition, unlike DeLay who had to be forced out.

    June 5, 2007 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  11. Karen - Novato, California

    This man is garbage. He's just dirty, corrupt, uncaring, and a grease spot on African American history. My questions are these: What is going on around him that makes him think he can hold on to his job at this point? and How do we make sure he doesn't live out his life on a cushy pension paid for with our tax dollars?

    June 5, 2007 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  12. Angie, Wilmington, DE

    Forget about the black/white issue, forget about the republican/democrat issue. The reality is that this black democrat is a 'public servant' – now a disgrace to everyone. I just find it amazing that the people of N.O. re-elected this man. We get what we deserve...

    June 5, 2007 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |

    Jefferson just got caught.
    Jefferson is no worse than the rest of the Democrats and Republicans in Congress or Senate. They need to vote themselves a new salary increase and they don't pay into Social Security.

    June 5, 2007 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  14. Anne, Lansing, MI

    You who are without sin, cast the first stone. Think about that why don't cha.

    June 5, 2007 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  15. WC, Roanoke, VA

    This goy needs to go to jail for a long time. He betrayed the public trust for his own enrichment. What a sleaze and the worst part is the Domocrates are calling this a political prosecution and have been defending him! Where's the 'Most Ethical Congress' we were promissed?

    June 5, 2007 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  16. Scott, Kennewick, Washington

    I have had dealings with numerous professional politicians ranging from Representatives, Senators, Congressmen and high ranking officials within the Department of Energy. Almost all are ego driven, self centered persons who feel that they are certainly above the common United States citizen and, more importantly, above the law. On one occasion I carefully explained the state law regarding liquor consumption at public gatherings to a congressman and he shouted “Don’t tell me the laws! I make them!” He and his entourage proceeded to ignore the law and did things as they saw fit.

    I believe that Rep. William Jefferson is simply one who was caught. There are hundreds of politicians just like him, breaking laws as they see fit.

    June 5, 2007 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  17. Raymond, Newport Beach, CA.

    He is a Democrat and therefore has the legal right to claim he is a victim. What ever happened, the Republicans made him do it. I know it sounds silly but it has always worked in the past.

    June 5, 2007 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  18. Lynette, Hayward, CA

    For the person who said "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." I agree, but we must keep in mind that bush was elected for a 2nd term too. The entire world continues to ask what this country was thinking. ME TOO. For the person who said "I have a son serving in Bagdad. my question is when are yall going to bring them home?" The answer is ...THEY'RE NOT! bush has more than said so several times. Until a Democrat gets into the office and the bush/cheney operation is shut down, nothing new is going to happen. Honestly, for everyone out there that has lost a loved one or has had severe injuries, I can't believe there has not been a classaction suit filed against bush/cheney, et al.!!! Somebody get Gloria Allred on the phone.

    June 5, 2007 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  19. Josh, Austin, TX

    WOW!!! Everyone hates this Democrate.

    June 5, 2007 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  20. Clif Wilcox, CA

    As a former citizen of New Orleans who has witnessed the recent natural tragedies befalling this wonderful city, I am sickened by such a blatant act on the part of a US Congressman. This only further serves to blacken the tainted image of Louisiana politicians. I hope that Mr. Jefferson will have the dignity to resign. Innocent until proven guilty is a nice concept but pales against honor in such a remarkable instance of corruption.

    June 5, 2007 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  21. Brian , Kentwood Mich

    Everythind said is true and good...
    why isn't anyone asking about the missing $10,000 from the sting op.?
    the investigation needs to be more "broad"
    and there is a reason it was wrapped in foil and in a freezer.

    June 5, 2007 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  22. Cecil,Broussard,La.

    Dennis, Conway, Ar
    How can you put a used car salesman in with this group? Something of an insult to the used car salesman the way I see it.

    June 5, 2007 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  23. WC, Roanoke, VA

    It's amazing how many uniformed people there are after 4 years of war in Iraq.
    If Bush lied, so did Bill Clinton, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and the CIA, British, French Russian Intellegence. They all thought Sadam had WMD's. Why don't you people stop repeating the Leftwing lie that only Bush is at fault. The Congress (including the Dems) voted for the war. What a bunch of morons!

    June 5, 2007 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  24. Kyle, Aurora, IL

    Let's try to keep our attention where it needs to be,

    It doesn't matter whether he is Dem or Rep. If he broke the law, he needs to be held to the highest standard and it is our responsibility to ensure this happens.

    Are we really surprised that he admits no wrongdoing? Are we really surprised that the Ethics committee can't regulate itself?
    Are we really surprised that we are using this opportunity to take potshots at Dems or Reps?

    Is he (or people like Duke Cunningham) the best this country can produce to lead?

    Right now, we are getting what we wanted. We elected them, these are our representatives. Perhaps, we will all get sick and tired enough of this to actually care about the voting and legislative process someday...but it doesn't seem like today.

    June 5, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  25. LeftyLosey

    "In doing so I, of course, express no admission of guilt or culpability in that or any other matter"

    Demorats are no better than Republicons. Make a difference, Vote Green..

    June 5, 2007 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
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