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Ex-Rep. Jefferson Takes His Constitutional Appeal to the Supreme Court

It has been 3 1/2 years since the FBI raided ex-Rep. William Jefferson’s homes on Capitol Hill and in New Orleans and that man has still not gone to trial. Could this latest move delay the May 26th trial?

By Bruce Alpert
New Orleans Times-Picayune
Ex-Rep. William Jefferson while still in office

Ex-Rep. William Jefferson while still in office

WASHINGTON – Former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson’s attorneys are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court decision rejecting arguments that prosecutors improperly presented information about his legislative duties to a grand jury in violation of a constitutional separation of powers clause.

In a request filed late Wednesday and posted on the court’s Web this morning, Jefferson wants 14 of the 16 corruption charges he faces at a May 26 trial dropped.

The defense attorneys said the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia, in rejecting their appeal, not only failed to take note of grand jury testimony about his role in helping pass an African trade bill – a clear violation they said of the Constitution’s Speech or Debate clause – but refused to review unreleased grand jury testimony to determine if other violations occurred.

“The Speech or Debate Clause is a unique constitutional provision that creates an absolute privilege for legislative activities within its scope,” Jefferson’s attorneys said. “It protects legislators not only from conviction based on legislative acts, but also from having to defend themselves as a result of those acts.”
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Pingback from News that Fits « Fraud with Peril: Levin & Gallagher Lawyers
Time February 19, 2009 at 4:50 pm

[…] The Wire (blog):  Ex-Representative Jefferson takes his appeal to the Supreme […]

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