Rep. William Jefferson
(D-LA) is unlikely to be indicted before Election Day.
That's not due to weakness in the Justice Department's case -- documents from the investigation show
that the government has a wealth of evidence based on surveillance, an FBI informant's taping of conversations, and the testimony of two men
who've pled guilty to bribing Jefferson. Prosecutors are reportedly
very close to an indictment. Rather, the case is bogged down in litigation resulting from the FBI's raid of Jefferson's congressional office.
Sources close to the case tell Roll Call
's John Bresnahan that the DoJ is unlikely to indict Jefferson without the documents seized from his office. They're still waiting to get those. A judge ruled
in July that Jefferson must see them first; he gets a chance to contest certain materials being handed over based on his constitutional privilege. At issue is whether the docs qualify as legislative materials under the Speech or Debate Clause. The whole process is likely to go on through October, meaning Jefferson won't be forced to campaign under federal indictment
Jefferson's district is heavily Democratic, but his weakness from the damning revelations of the feds' investigation has inspired a dozen candidates
to enter the race, eight of them Dems. If nobody gets a majority on Election Day, there will be a December runoff.