Jefferson pleads not guilty
Rep. William Jefferson pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of soliciting more than $500,000 in bribes while using his office to broker business deals in Africa.
Jefferson, D-La., said he understood the charges during the federal court hearing. He was released on $100,000 bond.
This might indicate he doesn't plan to resign, but it doesn't preclude the possibility. Several Republicans initially refused to resign, only to change their mind as they witnessed the political damage to their party, the unlikelihood of their re-election, their diminished political power, and the difficulty in handling the business of Congress while dealing with a criminal investigation.
The real bad news is that his trial isn't scheduled to begin until January. So unless he resigns we've got another six months worth of "Jefferson still in Congress" to look forward to.
Update: Jefferson says the money in his freezer was part of an "http://www.myfoxkc.com/myfox/pages/News/Detail?contentId=3437146&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=3.3.1">FBI sting operation. This leaves me a bit confused. Let's say he claims he was cooperating with the FBI. In that case we're supposed to believe they gave him the money, then raided his home and arrested him for having it. And if he wasn't cooperating, why did he take the $90,000 and hide it in his freezer?
If Jefferson's lawyer is worth any money at all, he'll tell Jefferson to shut up about the case from now on. Though I hope Jefferson ignores the advice.
Jefferson, politics, midtopia