Supporters of a Democratic congressman charged with bribery and money laundering harkened to their civil rights days on Wednesday as they denounced the allegations against U.S. Rep. William Jefferson.Yeah. That's a defense I'll buy. "It wasn't him! It was those evil other people that don't like us! And they're doing it to keep people from looking at their own evil things! It is a con-spi-ra-cy!"
The group, including ministers and the president of the local chapter of the NAACP, alleged the 16-count corruption indictment was the work of a Republican White House and Justice Department scheming to target black Democratic leaders and shift attention from legal troubles of Republican congressmen.
"When it's all over, Bill Jefferson will stand up like Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver. He will stand up in the South and he will be victorious," said the Rev. Samson "Skip" Alexander.
Rabid partisanship at work. And the bloody-shirt-waving in that third graf is so sad that it is almost hilarious. Attempting to pin Jefferson's much-tarnished name into the same sentence as two highly respectable individuals, those who stood and fought and suffered and sacrificed in the name of individual liberty, is an insult unto their memory and legacy. Yet it seems to be a constant effort to invoke the specter of racism whenever possible, regardless of how despicable many of us find such a strategy to be.
Washington asked the audience to give Jefferson the benefit of the doubt, the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.Yup. And he has it. Just the same as O.J. Simpson still has the presumption of innocence. But I certainly will not call it a travesty of justice when he is found guilty.
But here's the money quote:
Sitawi Jahi, a 54-year-old youth development program director, said he came "to gather facts." But he said his confidence in Jefferson was strained by some of the evidence, in particular an allegation the FBI found $90,000 in bribe money in the congressman's freezer.Very hard to explain. He forgot the word "very" in there. And that exact piece of evidence is precisely what will convince a jury beyond reasonable doubt, especially when it follows the video of him receiving said bribe money.
"That's hard to explain," he said.
Personally, I'm wondering if there's a betting pool on how much prison time good ol' Dollar Bill will get after all this is over. I wouldn't mind tossing a sawbuck on the 61 month square.