Rep. William Jefferson has filed a motion for a delay in his trial — currently scheduled for January 13, 2008.
The motion details the scope of evidence and the Justice Department’s delay in turning over evidence. Jefferson informs the Court that he is largely tapped out and anticipated a possible appeal, including Supreme Court petition.
As the court and the government are well aware from the financial information presented to the court in connection with the asset freeze in this case, Mr. Jefferson does not have the resources to pay for the lawyers he has, less the kind of support that the case demands. This case has already prompted two appeals, and Trout Cacheris, unlike the Justice Department, does not have an Appellate Division. In the wake of the execution of the search warrant on the Congressman’s office, the defense attorneys have also been occupied with the proceedings in the District of Columbia not only briefing and arguing issues of first impression concerning the applicability of the Speech or Debate Clause, but conducting a privilege review of the 1700 paper records seized and every one of the 45,000 records harvested in the search of the fifteen computers seized from the Congressman and his staff. Further proceedings in the Supreme Court may very well be on the horizon; a petition for writ of certiorari would be due in February.
It appears that the freezer is empty. The problem for Jefferson is that this is the rocket docket. I have litigated in this court for years. It generally allows a fraction of the time in other districts. Indeed, above the front door is the legend: Justice Delayed is Justice Denied.