Ex GOP Lawmaker — And Social Security Bamboozler — To Testify For Defense In Jefferson Trial

Finally, some bipartisanship in these polarized times!

William Jefferson, the Democratic former congressman who’s facing trial on corruption charges after being found with $90,000 in his freezer, will get help from a Republican fellow ex-lawmaker from Louisiana.Jim McCrery, who was the ranking GOPer on the House Ways and Means committee before retiring this year, will serve as an “expert witness,” testifying that Jefferson was just helping out a constituent, according to court filings examined by RollCall.

Jefferson’s lawyer wrote:

Congressman McCrery will describe the constituent service or ‘case work’ activities performed by Members. He will explain generally that Members often provide assistance to their constituents in the form of obtaining information from, and/or facilitating interactions with, U.S. government agencies, and that they do that in order to maintain their constituents’ political support.

He is expected to testify that in his opinion, while certain of these activities have come to be customarily performed by many Members, there is significant variation among Members concerning the nature and extent of activities performed.

McCrery, of course, had a starring role in President Bush’s failed push to privatize social security.

The move is reminiscent of the Ted Stevens trial, in which Democratic senators including Ted Kennedy and Daniel Inouye appeared on the defense witness list intending to sing the Alaska Republican’s praises.

Sometimes being a fellow member of the club is more important than sharing the same party. We’re not sure that’s a good thing.