US House speeds ethics probe into indicted congressman

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives passed two resolutions Tuesday intended to speed up the House's internal investigation of Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) [official website; JURIST news archive], who was indicted [JURIST report] this week for allegedly accepting $500,000 in bribes. John Boehner (R-OH) proposed a resolution [H Res 452 materials] requiring the House Ethics Committee [official website] to report on whether the charges against Jefferson are severe enough that they would justify expelling him from Congress. The resolution passed 373-26 [roll call]. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MA) introduced a second resolution [H Res 451 materials] that requires the ethics committee to convene a panel within 30 days of the indictment of any House member. The resolution passed 387-10 [roll call].

Jefferson was indicted Monday on 16 counts, including charges of bribery, racketeering, money laundering, and obstruction of justice. He allegedly solicited bribes from numerous companies both in the US and in Africa, setting up a fake company to launder the money. Due to the international nature of the alleged acts, Jefferson is facing charges under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act [DOJ materials], and, if convicted on all counts, faces up to 235 years in prison. AP has more.



 

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