Jurors in the corruption trial of former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana ended their second day of deliberations without a verdict Friday, said a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Alexandria, Virginia.
Louisiana congressman William Jefferson on Tuesday requested temporary leave as a member of the House Small Business Committee, a day after he was indicted by a federal grand jury on a raft of corruption charges.
Democrats began the 2006 election cycle hoping to capitalize on Americans' discontent with the Iraq war. Heading into the closing hours before the midterm elections, the minority party continues to play on this dissatisfaction.
Half of all Americans believe most members of Congress are corrupt -- a figure that has risen 12 points since the start of the year -- and more than a third think their own representative is crooked, according to a new poll released Thursday by CNN.
The Louisiana congressman implicated in a federal bribery probe filed papers Tuesday to keep records seized from his Capitol Hill office under seal while he appeals a federal judge's order allowing investigators to review them.
Rep. William Jefferson, who on Friday was stripped of his seat on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, said the House minority leader singled him out because she wants to be speaker of the House one day.
With members of the Congressional Black Caucus crying double standard, House Democrats met behind closed doors Thursday and voted to strip Rep. William Jefferson of his seat on the Ways and Means Committee.
The battle between the FBI and Congress over documents seized in a raid on the office of Congressman William Jefferson, a Democrat from New Orleans, turned Washington upside down last week. The FBI, which has long been investigating allegations that Jefferson accepted money in exchange for helping businessmen secure deals in Africa, says it had already found $90,000 wrapped in foil in the freezer of Jefferson's apartment and had a videotape of him allegedly accepting $100,000 in bribe money. But when federal agents, who had been trying to get documents from Jefferson for nine months, obtained a warrant and searched his Capitol Hill office, they found an unlikely adversary: House Speaker Dennis Hastert. The Illinois Republican argued that the search violated the separation of powers between the Legislative and Executive branches and demanded that the FBI return the seized documents.
The Justice Department told a federal court Tuesday that Rep. William Jefferson's demand for the return of documents seized from his office conflict with "the bedrock principle that the laws of this country allow no place or employment as a sanctuary for crime."
Top officials at the Justice Department and the FBI were prepared to resign if President Bush had ordered them to return materials seized from a Congressman's office, two senior administration officials said.
In a rare intervention into a criminal investigation, President Bush decided to seal documents that the FBI had seized from the office of U.S. Rep. William Jefferson, a White House official said Friday.
Though no one actually defended embattled Rep. William Jefferson, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi joined House Republicans on Wednesday in expressing outrage over the FBI's recent search of the congressman's legislative office.
House Speaker Dennis Hastert said Tuesday that the FBI and the Justice Department "took the wrong path" when they searched a Democratic congressman's office this weekend as part of an anti-corruption probe.