Friday, March 31, 2006
A U.S. District Court has issued grand jury subpoenas to six aides to Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-La.) who has been implicated in a bribery case.
In statements read on the House floor yesterday, the aides notified House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) that they had been served with subpoenas for testimony issued by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
The court, located in Alexandria, Va., is set to hand down a sentence to Brett Pfeffer, a former aide to Jefferson. Pfeffer pleaded guilty in January to aiding and abetting bribery of a public official and conspiracy. He faces as much as 20 years in prison.
Pfeffer, 37, said a congressman demanded bribes in exchange for his assistance in brokering two African telecommunications deals. Court documents make clear that Jefferson is the accused congressman without naming him.
Jefferson has not been charged with a crime and has denied the allegation, saying he has never demanded or accepted anything to perform a service for which he was elected.
The six staff members -- a district manager, a legislative assistant and four congressional aides -- said in their statements that they had consulted with the Office of General Counsel and determined that compliance with the subpoena "is consistent with the precedents and privileges of the House."