House Moves to Expel Accused Congressman

Louisiana Democrat charged with bribery, extortion
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2007 6:22 AM CDT
Rep. William Jefferson D-La., speaks at the swearing in ceremony for Mayor Ray Nagin at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans in this June 1, 2006 file photo. Jefferson will be indicted in a bribery...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Pressure mounted on William Jefferson to resign from the House yesterday as leaders of both parties piled on in the wake of his indictment on corruption, racketeering and bribery charges. Republicans moved to initiate proceedings to have the Louisiana Democrat, expelled—which, Dems noted, they did not do when GOP members Tom DeLay and Robert Ney were indicted.

Pushing the expulsion of a member before conviction is unprecedented, the Washington Post notes. The House approved a Democratic motion to make an ethics investigation automatic after an indictment. In his New Orleans district, the Times-Picayune urged him to resign: "His presence will be a constant reminder of Louisiana's reputation for political shenanigans."