Rep. “Cold Cash” Jefferson (D-LA) can’t delay bribery trial
The Louisiana Democrat, in his final days in office, lost a longshot bid Monday to delay his trial on bribery charges.
Jefferson has been trying to get the charges thrown out, but a federal judge refused and the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that decision in November. In a one-sentence ruling Monday, the appeals court refused to put that decision on hold while Jefferson appealed to the Supreme Court.
That means, unless the Supreme Court decides to step in, a federal judge can soon set a trial date in a case that has hung over Jefferson for more than 3 years. The FBI raided his home in 2005 and his congressional office in 2006. A grand jury indicted him in June 2007.
Jefferson argues the charges are invalid because the grand jury got reviewed information related to his job as a congressman. That, Jefferson says, violates a constitutional clause that shields lawmakers from prosecution for performing their legislative duties.
Jefferson is charged with taking bribes, laundering money and misusing his congressional office for business dealings in Africa. During the raid on Jefferson’s home, FBI agents discovered $90,000 in cash in Jefferson’s freezer. Jefferson has promised there is an “honorable explanation” for the money in the freezer, but he has yet to make it public.
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