The title of this MSNBC article says it all.
Congressman indicted in bribery investigationFinally. In a 94-page, 280-paragraph, 15-count indictment issued today (Large PDF warning.), Congressman William Jefferson is closer to his day in court where he will be judged by a jury of his peers.
La. Democrat also accused of corruption; cash found in freezer in raid
And, as you could probably tell from my past writings on the subject, I would be far from the ideal juror for the defense. Which means that it is a good thing that I have less chance of getting a jury notice for this case than I have of flying to the moon for a grilled cheese sandwich, for even if I consider him to be guilty as sin (And much less appealing than a good set of sinning, by the by.) he is still entitled to his fair trial.
Yet now that Jefferson has been indicted, Speaker Pelosi is moving to strip him of what little power he got in the committee assignments: his seat on the Small Business Committee and two of its subcommittees. And this time, the Congressional Black Caucus does not have a leg to stand on to protest his removal. This story from last year told the tale of the tape.
A drive by the Democratic leadership to strip embattled Rep. William Jefferson of his committee post triggered a backlash Thursday as the Congressional Black Caucus opposed the move and said the Louisianan deserves a "presumption of innocence."Well. Now he has been indicted in a federal bribery investigation that has netted two convictions. And it is time to treat him precisely the way that we wanted Tom DeLay and Duke Cunningham treated. (Read: thrown out of the House so hard they break Mach.) Now there is precedent for it. Now there is rule for it.
The caucus chairman, Rep. Melvin Watt of North Carolina, told reporters that some black voters might ask why action was sought against "a black member of Congress" when there was neither precedent nor rule for it.
Jefferson has not been indicted and has denied all wrongdoing in connection with a federal bribery investigation that has netted two convictions. He has rebuffed repeated calls from Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and others to step aside until any involvement is clarified.
And thus is born Nancy Pelosi's first true test of whether or not this will be "the most ethical Congress in history." Will she violate her promise? Or will she tell the CBC that sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander? Because if she doesn't do the right thing and instead gives Dollar Bill the same public pass that she gave Murtha's volcanic 'cross-the-aisle eruption and Mollohan's "temporary voluntary suspension" from the Ethics Committee, then there will be problems. Those two involved earmarks. This involves one heck of a lot more than just earmarks. This wasn't a shade-of-dark-gray incidental enrichment and/or insider real estate deals. This is flat-out criminal action and should be treated as such.
And if Nancy whiffs this one, then I might not just be bashing Congressional Democrats.
I might just run against one.
[UPDATE: 1838 06.04.07] That Politico intar-tube thingamabobber shows us that Minority Leader Boehner will place a motion on the floor, and one that will remove Jefferson from the House entirely. It would have been better if a) he'd done that against Cunningham or b) Pelosi did it first. But I'll take it as it comes. [Turn Signal: The Army Of One David aka Instapundit]