Let the countdown to November begin.
On Monday, a judge decided that the FBI’s raid of Rep. William Jefferson’s (D-LA) office was constitutional. Among other things, that meant that prosecutors would soon get their hands on the documents seized from his office. The Justice Department is reportedly close to an indictment — and it probably wouldn’t come long after they got the documents.
Jefferson’s lawyer is appealing the decision and wants to keep the seized documents out of the Justice Department’s hands in the interim.
But prosecutors want them now – so today they filed a motion in opposition to Jefferson’s request. Jefferson’s not likely to win on appeal anyway, they say — and the delay to their case is against “the public’s interest in a prompt and final determination of whether a sitting United States Congressman accepted and paid out bribes.” If the documents are bound up in litigation for the rest of the year, Jeffersons’ constituents will never find out if he’s a crook before the upcoming election.
With Jefferson, the question is not really if he will be indicted – it’s when. And if prosecutors lose this motion, he might be able to delay the indictment past November.