Rep. Jefferson leaves committee post

June 5, 2007 at 2:30 PM

WASHINGTON, June 5 (UPI) -- U.S. Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., under indictment on corruption charges, announced Tuesday that he is taking a leave from his committee post.

Jefferson's only House of Representatives committee assignment was on the House Small Business Committee. He wrote Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to say he will suspend his membership until the charges against him are resolved, CNN reported.

While Jefferson was only formally charged Monday, he has been under a cloud since FBI agents found thousands of dollars stashed in a freezer during a search of his home two years ago. He allegedly took bribes from businesses seeking to operate in Africa.

"I have supported every ethics and lobbying reform measure that you and our Democratic majority have authored and I make this request for leave to support the letter and the spirit of your leadership in this area," Jefferson said.

Pelosi forced Jefferson out of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee last year.

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