July 24, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

For Sale, Foreshadowing?

His office says not to read anything into it, but Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.), who is under federal investigation, has put his house on Capitol Hill up for sale.

His three-bedroom home in the 1300 block of F Street Northeast, has a price tag of $799,000. A source knowledgeable about the property told HOH he was under the impression the Congressman was leaving the area.

Asked whether the “for sale” sign meant Jefferson was planning to leave town, the source said, “Yes, I think that’s the deal.”

Jefferson aides insist he’s going nowhere, despite an ongoing criminal probe that has ensnared one of his former aides, Brett Pfeffer, who has pleaded guilty to two felony charges, including aiding and abetting the solicitation of bribes.

Jefferson’s attorney, Ronald Machen,

didn’t return phone and e-mail messages, but Melanie Roussell, the Congressman’s spokeswoman, said Jefferson’s decision to sell his Washington, D.C., home has nothing to do with his legal standing and that he’s not leaving Washington.

“I do not comment on the investigation. This has nothing to do with anything relating to that,” she said, adding, “He is running for re-election.”

Roussell explained that the housing market “has gone flat and is expected to decline” and that the Congressman’s house has “seen a large appreciation,” so now is the time to sell.

Jefferson is looking to buy “less expensive property,” she said, reiterating that he fully intends to run for another term.

He isn’t sure yet where he’ll buy. “If anyone knows of any affordable properties, let us know,” Roussell joked.

Mother Knows Best. Rep. Rob Simmons (R-Conn.) sure wishes he had listened to Mom’s sage “chew your food!” advice. He nearly choked to death last week when he swallowed a too-big piece of steak at a fundraiser and wound up in the hospital, where doctors removed a 4-inch piece of meat from his throat.

Simmons was just about to address a luncheon gathering at the Mohegan Sun casino and resort in his district when he realized he was choking. He took a sip of water to force the meat down, but it didn’t work. “The water filled up and covered my lungs ... I was suffocating,” Simmons told HOH.

His training as a former Army intelligence officer and CIA ops agent paid off: he remained cool and — though he was choking — excused himself from the table, covered his mouth with a napkin and nonchalantly strolled to the kitchen.

He said he stood in the kitchen for about 10 minutes trying to dislodge the errant meat, then he heard the host telling the crowd that the Congressman had to leave. Of all things at that moment, Simmons felt guilty.

“I washed my face, tidied up, went back in ... gave a 10-minute speech to the group, posed for photos, then left,” he said. He got through the speech by expectorating into a Kleenex “because I couldn’t swallow,” he said.

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