Representative William Jefferson has allegedly been accused of 11 bribery and fraud schemes involving his business interests in at least seven West African countries, including telecommunications deals in Nigeria and Ghana, oil concessions in Equatorial Guinea, waste-recycling systems in Nigeria and the Nigerian sugar plant for which he sought Export-Import Bank financing. He made corrupt trades in his congressional office where he served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, to enrich himself and his family.

When Tom DeLay’s ethics were in question the Democrats triggered a round of attacks. However, whatever DeLay was guilty of, he bowed out gracefully. Jefferson, by contrast, is maintaining his innocence and has no intention of stepping down. As this federal indictment is the first in which a U.S. official is charged with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bars bribery of foreign officials, Jefferson should take responsibility for these outrageous criminal behaviors. This not a party issue. Wrong is wrong and right is right no matter the party affiliation. However, I am a bit curious as to where the watchdog groups are in this matter.

Resign immediately, Congressman Jefferson, and stop this wasteful, selfish and continued abuse of taxpayers’ dollars.