Friday, July 24, 2009

Update: "Dollar Bill" Jefferson Goes to Court

Following 5 weeks of prosecution testimony from FBI sting witnesses and co-conspirators, videotapes of money-exchanges, and audio tapes of the Congressman's own voice, the defense team for former Congressman Bill Jefferson began and rested its case yesterday. In 2 hours!

In a reversal of its previous position, the prosecution agreed to the admission of parts of the videotapes it had earlier resisted. Coming to that decision was probably made easier by the judge's comments (out of the hearing of the jury) that those excerpts don't "amount to a hill of beans" and "[i]t doesn't matter if he committed the crime for the benefit of his children, for himself, or for some charity."

Playing those tapes took up 90 minutes of the 2-hour defense. The defense then filed a Motion to Dismiss 15 of the 16 counts. Smirk.

Closing arguments begin next Tuesday. Methinks the defense is betting a little too much on "reasonable doubt."

The good former-Congressman -- always quite the dapper dresser -- should probably spend a little time at his tailor's over the next few days getting fitted for a custom-made orange jumpsuit. We wouldn't want him to look shabby at his debut in the federal hoosegow, now would we?

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