Closing Arguments in the Trial of William Jefferson (D-LA)

For some reason, the New Orleans Times-Picayune has no coverage. Today’s coverage courtesy the Baton Rouge Advocate.

Jury to weigh corruption charges against Jefferson

For the prosecution:

“[Jefferson] betrayed his office in ways too numerous to count,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebeca Bellows said. “He lined his pockets with cash.” …

“Congressman Jefferson not only sold his office,” Bellows said. “He wanted to make sure he got top dollar.”

For the defense:

“This was a completely legitimate business transaction,” [Defense Attorney Robert] Trout said. “That’s what this case is all about, it’s about the government’s ability to turn something that is not a crime into a crime.”

“Ladies and gentleman, that’s power,” said Trout, who repeated the phrase through his defense argument. …

Trout told the jury that Jefferson has paid a huge price from the accusations. His congressional career is ruined, his family is tarnished and he has become a “national joke.” Trout’s voice cracked and tears welled up in his eyes as he made his final pitch to the jury.

“Democracy is you,” Trout said. “And we put our trust in you.”