Politics

Former Rep. Jefferson Close to Resentencing Deal

Comes after the Supreme Court created a higher standard for proof of corruption

Former Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., center, his wife Andrea Jefferson, second from right, and attorney Amy Jackson, right, speak to reporters following Jefferson's conviction on corruption charges in 2009.(CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Louisiana Rep. Bill Jefferson is close to reaching a resentencing deal with federal prosecutors over his corruption conviction.

Jefferson was convicted on 11 federal corruption counts in 2009 and was freed from prison last month after serving five years.

But U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis of Virginia threw out seven of the original counts after a Supreme Court ruling narrowed the definition of corruption.

Jefferson is scheduled to be resentenced on Friday.

In a conference call on Monday, attorneys outlined an agreement, according minutes filed in the federal court record. But no deal has been formally accepted by both sides, the New Orleans Advocate reported.

Jefferson’s scandal gained national notoriety after the FBI raided his home and congressional offices and found $90,000 stashed in a freezer in his residence.

Jefferson was accused of taking bribes from businessmen for schemes related to Africa

Prosecutors told Ellis during the call that the Justice Department would need to review the agreement.  

Ellis ordered Jefferson’s immediate release from federal prison while Ellis reviewed the new sentence for the case. 

Ellis said that jurors were given too broad of a definition of a “federal act” required to convict for quid pro quo corruption.

The ruling came after a Supreme Court ruling in 2016 imposed a higher standard of proof for what is considered public corruption, overturning the conviction of former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell.

Two of Jefferson's charges were left intact, including the conviction for two conspiracy counts and one for violating the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Official Act.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.