The Hill has the story:

Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) waited almost two years before notifying the House ethics committee of a loan he made to Vernon Jackson, the Kentucky businessman now in prison for bribing him, according to financial disclosures released yesterday.

The debt’s late disclosure to Congress could further hobble Jefferson’s defense when his case goes to trial in January and embolden the members in both parties calling for his resignation. According to Kentucky media reports, Jackson reported the loan to the FBI in August 2005.


A Jefferson spokesman declined yesterday to answer questions about the loan to Jackson. In a May 15 letter to Reps. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio) and Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), the chairman and ranking member of the ethics panel, Jefferson said the $10,000 “was extended on a personal basis to cover personal and family expenses” between April and June 2005.

The loan, which remains outstanding, may play a more infamous role in the government’s case against the embattled Louisianan. The $90,000 found in Jefferson’s freezer came out of the $100,000 offered him by government informant Lori Mody in July 2005, but little is known of the remaining $10,000 — other than its FBI status as accounted-for.

Brace yourself for more revelations of Dollar Bill’s corrupt bidness dealings. What’s really astonishing is that all of this grotesque rolling humiliation for the CBC and the Democratic Party at large could have been avoided. Had Democrats put enough energy behind Karen Carter’s campaign against Jefferson this fall, she would have won and Jefferson would be a footnote rather than a front page story.

When something like a whole bunch of fake ids and credit cards are found under someone’s floorboards or body is found buried in someone’s backyard or perhaps $90,000 is found hidden in someone’s freezer, usually things are likely to go downhill for that someone. This was predictable and avoidable. And we told you so.

More of this mess can be avoided if Jefferson is pushed harder to resign. Surely Democrats can figure this out. Or maybe they aren’t so interested after all in differentiating their party from the GOP’s history of winking at corrupt cronies.

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