BY LINDA BENTLEY | MAY 2, 2012
Democrats in disgrace
Jefferson trots off to prison, Edwards is in court, Holder could be facing a contempt citation, while Obama jokes about real problems
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Remember former U.S. Rep. William J. Jefferson, the Democrat from Louisiana, who was convicted in 2009 on 11 out of 16 corruption charges against him after $90,000 was found hidden in his freezer?
On April 20, U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis ordered Jefferson to voluntarily surrender to the designated prison facility or to the U.S. Marshal Service by noon on May 4 to begin serving his sentence.
Jefferson was sentenced to 13 years in federal prison on charges of conspiracy to solicit bribes by a public official and deprive citizens of honest services, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act; conspiracy to solicit bribes by a public official and deprive citizens of honest services by wire fraud; solicitation of bribes by a public official; scheme to deprive citizens of honest services by wire fraud; money laundering; and racketeer influenced corrupt organization (RICO), pattern of racketeering activity.
While Jefferson was allowed to remain out on bond pending the outcome of his appeal, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed 10 of the 11 counts and vacated one count of wire fraud, stating the charge was brought in the wrong venue and would had to have been filed in either Kentucky or Africa, the points at which the wire fraud was either initiated or terminated.
However, since his various sentences were to be served concurrently, vacating the one count did not affect Jefferson’s sentence of 156 months.
As Jefferson trots off to prison, John Edwards, the former one-term U.S. Senator from North Carolina is in court facing up to 30 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines if convicted of deliberately using campaign funds to keep his pregnant mistress Reille Hunter a secret as he campaigned to become the Democrat nominee for president of the United States in 2008.
According to testimony on Monday by Cheri Young, the wife of Edwards’ former aide Andrew Young, Edwards knew about the payments and told her in a phone conversation that he checked with lawyers and it was legal for her and her husband to accept the money from wealthy campaign donors.
Young testified she took the money despite having reservations about it because if the public were to find out about Edwards’ affair with Hunter, it would have jeopardized Edwards’ campaign and her husband’s job.
Last week, Andrew Young, who was granted immunity, testified he used about $1 million of the $1.2 million in payments from Texas Attorney Fred Baron, who served as Edwards’ campaign finance chairman, and heiress Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, for his own personal use.
And then we have Attorney General Eric Holder facing a contempt citation by House Republicans investigating the Fast and Furious scandal, accusing Holder of obstruction as he has stonewalled Congress by failing to turn over tens of thousands of pages of related documents.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, leading the investigation, which is now in its second year, has provided Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, a 48-page draft citation.
Boehner would have to approve bringing a contempt citation to a full House vote, which, if passed, would allow Congress to seek enforcement through federal courts.
Last but not least, there’s President Barack Obama, who decided to use the White House Correspondents dinner to make jokes about his thought to be off-mic comments to the president of Russia about what he would be able to do after the election and smirked and winked as he stated he was born in Hawaii, while making fun of other scandals surrounding his presidency.
Meanwhile, more information about Obama’s background has been uncovered and will be revealed in the near future, possibly June, as Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse and Jerome Corsi, author of “Where’s the Birth Certificate,” continue to amass more evidence of fraud and forgery.
Last month, petitions introduced by the Surprise Tea Party and signed by over 3,000 Arizonans, requesting the legislature introduce a resolution requiring Secretary of State Ken Bennett to send a letter to Democratic National Committee National Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to produce substantive and documented replies to questions surrounding Obama's natural born citizenship, his birth certificate, Selective Service registration, and Social Security number, before he could be placed on the Arizona ballot, were rejected by both Senate President Steve Pierce and Speaker of the House Andy Tobin, both District 1 Republicans.
Meanwhile, Tom Ballantyne, political activist and author of the book “Oh Really, O’Reilly,” interviewed former Speaker of the House Kirk Adams, who is currently running for the U.S. House of Representatives.
Ballantyne thought he had found a Republican ally who would uphold his oath of office by supporting and defending the Constitution by demanding a congressional investigation into Obama’s natural born citizenship status.
However, Adams said he feared such action would trigger a constitutional crisis unlike any seen since perhaps the Civil War.
Adams stated, “First off, I do think it’s entirely appropriate that every candidate for office be able to prove their eligibility. But, can you imagine the constitutional crisis that would ensue? Because of how big that would be, I simply do not believe that an investigation by a volunteer posse of the sheriff gives enough credibility to this issue to really push this issue.”
Despite courts across the country declaring citizens do not have standing to uphold the natural born citizenship clause of the Constitution, Adams said Congress shouldn’t act until the question of Obama’s eligibility had “worked its way through the legal process.”