$$$Dollar Bill$$$$ Jefferson: Movin’ the trial on up

To DC from Alexandria Virginia that is. He ought to check with the Judge Ellis if there is a family plan. Bruce Alpert at the Times Picayune has the story. (Credit James Gill for “Dollar Bill”)

Jefferson wants Ellis to reverse an earlier ruling in which he refused to grant a change of venue from Virginia to Washington D.C. on grounds that the government, in the view of congressman’s attorneys, chose Virginia because it has a smaller proportion of African-American jurors. Ellis said he found no evidence that the government had manipulated to hold the trial in Virginia , but Jefferson ‘s lawyers said it’s impossible to know that without questioning government prosecutors and reviewing their emails and other material.

The New Orleans congressman, who faces charges of bribery, racketeering and conspiracy, also wants the judge to compel the Justice Department to use international legal treaties to compel testimony from three witnesses, including Atiku Abubakar, the former vice president of Nigeria , and a Nigerian businessman, to answer questions in a legal deposition.

In addition, the lawyers want Ellis to allow them to take depositions from Jennifer Abubakar, the former vice president’s wife and a citizen of the United States , in Europe where she has agreed to answer questions.