How sad that the democrats have to force “freezer burned” William Jefferson off a House committee post after he refuses to step down. But it wasn’t pretty!
House Democrats, determined to make an election-year point about ethics, voted 99-58 Thursday night to strip Rep. William Jefferson of his committee assignment while a federal bribery investigation runs its course.
The rank and file acted despite a last-minute plea by the embattled Louisiana lawmaker and persistent complaints from the Congressional Black Caucus that there was neither rule nor precedent for the action.
The FBI claims that it videotaped the Louisiana Democrat last summer taking $100,000 in bribe money and that agents later found $90,000 of the funds stashed in a freezer in his home. Two men have pleaded guilty in the probe, including a former aid to the congressman and a businessman who admitted paying bribes to the lawmaker.
The black caucus issued a statement last week invoking the Constitution’s guarantee of “the presumption of innocence” and opposed the effort to force him off the committee.
Some black Democrats went further, warning that the party risked alienating black voters if it required Jefferson to surrender his committee seat until his legal situation is clarified.
Congratulations to democrats for this party rarity.