Pelosi to Jefferson: Resign from Ways and Means

By Avni Patel

May 24, 2006 2:27pm

     In a letter today, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, asked Congressman William J. Jefferson, D-LA, to immediately resign from the Ways and Means Committee.  Jefferson promptly declined the request, stating that stepping down would unfairly punish his constituents. He called Pelosi’s request discriminatory since "no other member of Congress currently under federal investigation has been asked to step down from a substantive, legislative committee assignment."

The FBI raided Jefferson’s congressional offices on Saturday night, the first such raid on Capitol Hill in history. Jefferson is under investigation for allegedly taking bribes in exchange for his help in securing a telecommunications contract in Africa.  According to court documents, Jefferson was caught on tape accepting $100,000 in cash from an FBI informant. The cash was later found in a freezer in Jefferson’s house.

Federal officials tell ABCNews that they expect a formal indictment against Jefferson to be filed by July.

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