Another bad turn for Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) - a federal judge has ruled
(sub. req.) that prosecutors may see the documents seized by the FBI from Jefferson's congressional office in its May raid. We've posted a copy of the judge's opinion here
As I wrote before
, the race is on to see whether Jefferson will be indicted
before the November election. Today's ruling makes that more likely.
That's what the judge hopes, anyway. In his ruling, he made it clear
that he denied Jefferson's request to protect the documents pending his appeal because of "the publicâs interest in a prompt and final outcome of the governmentâs investigation of serious crimes involving a sitting United States Congressman running for re-election in November."
In this unprecedented case, there are still complications ahead for prosecutors. The Justice Department has created a special "filter team" to determine whether documents seized in the raid are constitutionally protected legislative materials or whether they can be seen by prosecutors. In every case, Jefferson's lawyer will get to contest the filter team's decision.