Jefferson Has a Court Date in May

Posted January 15, 2009 at 3:03pm

Former Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) received a new trial date Thursday, and is set to appear in federal court on May 26.

Jefferson is charged in a 16-count indictment with offering and accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to promote business ventures in West African nations.

Jefferson had been scheduled to begin trial in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in December, but that date was canceled as the Louisianan appealed pretrial rulings against him in his efforts to have the indictment dismissed.

Jefferson asserts that prosecutors violated the Constitution’s Speech or Debate Clause when they provided a grand jury with evidence of his legislative activities.

But the district court rejected Jefferson’s first attempt to dismiss the indictment in February, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit rejected the appeal late last year.

Jefferson’s defense team has indicated it will appeal to the Supreme Court. Although he has until March to do so, Jefferson’s attorneys have indicated in court filings they could do so as early as February.