July 30th, 2009
11:40 AM ET
13 years ago

Jury in Jefferson corruption case expected to begin deliberations

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/12/06/louisiana.congress/art.jefferson.gi.jpg caption="The jury in the corruption trial of former Rep. William Jefferson is expected to begin deliberating Thursday."](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.

Filed under: William Jefferson
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Darth Vadik, CA

    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."

    July 30, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  2. Cynthia

    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!

    July 30, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  3. PLUTO

    A blot on the Democratic Party. He ought to be punished as severely as Vitter, Sanford, Gingrich and Dubya have been for their crimes.

    July 30, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  4. Hugo

    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...

    July 30, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  5. Carlos

    He just needs to hire O.J. 's lawyers.

    July 30, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    What else is there to say other than the man is guilty and should go to jail?

    July 30, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  7. Drooling Liberal

    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.

    July 30, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  8. Ted

    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.

    July 30, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  9. bj,texas

    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.

    July 30, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  10. Gary H

    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.

    July 30, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  11. Darko

    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.

    July 30, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  12. Paul from Phoenix

    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.

    July 30, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  13. George

    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.

    July 30, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  14. noname

    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.

    July 30, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  15. chuck

    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.

    July 30, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  16. Bedtime for Obonzo

    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.

    July 30, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  17. J.P.

    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.

    July 30, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  18. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    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.

    July 30, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  19. RichardBlaine

    Compared to the Governor of Illinois and the Mayor of Detroit, this guy is an amateur.

    July 30, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  20. Mark

    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?

    July 30, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  21. Obama Victim

    well...that should take about 90 seconds

    July 30, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  22. moses

    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?

    July 30, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  23. Tom L

    C'mon Dems! This can't be possible. The Republicans must have had something to do with this. Right?

    July 30, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  24. AJ

    Corruption looks the same in any party...

    July 30, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
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