Former Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) asked a federal appeals court Monday to throw out his conviction on public corruption charges, asserting his defense was “devastated” by flawed jury instructions, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
Jefferson filed the appeal in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia.
A federal jury found Jefferson guilty in August 2009 of charges that included conspiracy to solicit bribes, money laundering, wire fraud and racketeering.
In his appeal Monday, Jefferson argued that U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis made two errors in his instructions to jurors prior to their deliberations.
Ellis sentenced Jefferson to 13 years in federal prison in November 2009, the longest prison term issued to a former House Member, but he allowed Jefferson to remain free pending his appeal.
Federal prosecutors have about one month to respond to the appeal, the AP reported.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.