RUSH: Okay, this is an update on yesterday’s eye opening story about Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA). As the story from the ABC News website yesterday reported, “Amid the chaos and confusion that engulfed New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina struck, a local congressman used National Guard troops to check on his property and rescue his personal belongings even while New Orleans residents were trying to get rescued from rooftops. On Friday, September 2nd, five days after the hurricane hit the Gulf coast, Representative William Jefferson (D-LA), who represents New Orleans and is a senior member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, was allowed through the military blockade set up around the city to reach the Superdome where thousands of evacuees had been taken. Military sources told ABC News that Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA), eight-term Democrat congressman, asked the National Guard that night to take him on a tour of the flooded portions of his congressional district. A five ton military truck and a half dozen military police were dispatched to accompany Democrat Congressman William Jefferson, Louisiana, to the front door of his home. Lieutenant colonel Pete Schneider of the Louisiana National Guard told ABC News that during the tour, Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA), asked that the truck take him to his home on Marengo Street. Marengo Street is in the affluent uptown neighborhood in the congressional district of William Jefferson (D-LA). According to the Air National Guard president, lieutenant colonel, this was not part of Jefferson’s initial request. Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA), defended the expedition saying he set out to see how residents were coping at the Superdome and also in his neighborhood. He insisted that he did not ask the National Guard to transport him.” Well, he spoke of this last night with Paula Zahn on CNN. She had as her guest, Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA), and she said, “So let’s try to set the record straight here tonight. On a day when you had some 10,000 people trapped at the Superdome with no food and no water, living under just horrendous conditions, you, congressman [Wiliam Jefferson (D-LA)], ended up using a National Guard truck to take you to your home in the affluent section on Marengo street, where you, [Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA)] retrieved personal belongings. Why, sir, [Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA)], is that not an abuse of power?”
JEFFERSON (D-LA): The National Guard troops took me to the Superdome area, took me to the convention center where I visited with constituents, took me uptown to the Wal-Mart area which had been looted, so I took a tour of that. I saw people at the convention center and asked them how they were, and they talked to me about the need to get buses out and so on. I then went uptown to the area where I live and to my neighborhood. Now, every member of Congress went back to see what had happened in their own area, as I did. The difference was I couldn’t travel without guards because there was shooting and snipping and all that stuff going on in my district. If I had been Bobby Jindal I could have gone without any help, but they all told me I need to have and must have National Guard or some sort of escort because they were worried about people being shot. And that is the only reason they were with me.
RUSH: Okay, so let’s retrace the steps here that have been stated by Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA). The original ABC story says that Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA), wanted to go visit his home but he didn’t tell this to the National Guard at first. He said he wanted to go to the Superdome, and after that trip began the National Guard says that Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA), then directed them to his home on Marengo Street in the affluent uptown section of town where he lives. Now Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA), says, “Nope. I went on that tour to the Superdome. They told me I had to have an escort from the National Guard because there was shooting and snipping and all that stuff going on in my district.” Then he adds the previously unknown fact that, had he been Bobby Jindal who is congressman from Louisiana, Republican, and who also ran for governor but lost to Kathleen Blanco. If he had been Bobby Jindal, he could have gone without any help from the National Guard, but the National Guard told him that he needed to have and must have National Guard or some sort of escort because they were worried about people being shot, and that’s the only reason they were with me. We will soon see the fallacy of this as the sound bites roll on, but what do you make of this? What does he mean when he says if he had been Bobby Jindal, he wouldn’t have needed an escort? Does that mean the looters weren’t shooting at Republicans? What does it mean? Does it mean that the snipers weren’t shooting at Republicans? Oh, so he’s saying had he been Bobby Jindal who is really affluent. “I’m just affluent, but if I were Bobby Jindal, really affluent, I wouldn’t have needed any of this that Bobby Jindal could probably provide all this himself”? Is that what he’s saying? We have no clue what Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA), means by this personal swipe at Republican Bobby Jindal. So Paula Zahn, then, trying to follow this, said, “Well, what was so critical inside your house that you wanted to retrieve?”
JEFFERSON (D-LA): I wanted to see the condition of my house as every other congressman who went down there did. It’s trouble as I told you, they didn’t have to have guards with them and I did because they worried about me being shot. But I went to the house to see whether it was under water, whether it had been looted, that sort of thing. There wasn’t anything especially important to retrieve from the house.
RUSH: This is muddying the waters — a little figure of speech — a little more than I thought would happen, because according to the ABC report yesterday, Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA), commandeered the National Guard and the truck for the express purpose of going to his house. He just didn’t tell them that ’til after they had set out for the Superdome. He now says, hey, I just wanted to go to the Superdome, and they said you’re getting shot ought out there, you’ve gotta take a Guard with you. Even in this scenario, how do they end up on his house? He’s on both sides of this street, Marengo Street, if you will. Now, we also learned from the ABC report yesterday that Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA), when he arrived at his house found that the water was only up to the third step, but Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA), asked the National Guard to drive the truck, the five-ton truck all the way up to the steps so that he wouldn’t have to get wet getting out of the truck and going into his fashionable home on Marengo Street in the affluent uptown section of New Orleans. This led to the truck, the five ton truck that had escorted Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA), to get stuck in the mud. The truck got stuck in the mud and that meant it couldn’t back out, couldn’t leave. That meant that the National Guard and Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA), were thus stranded in water up to the third step of his fashionable home on Marango Street in the uptown section of New Orleans. At this point, so goes the ABC report, a rescue helicopter was seen, and the National Guard troops began flashing a distress message at it. The chopper pilot saw it. He came over. There were four rescued New Orleans citizens already aboard the chopper. Oh, I left something out. Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA), was in his house for 45 minutes to an hour, and he came out of his house after this period of time with a bunch of computers, suitcases, and a box that was described to be the size of a freezer, and it was at that point that it was learned that the five-ton truck that had driven Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA), to his home was stuck, and then they signaled the chopper. The chopper showed up, and there the story takes a diversion from what we heard about yesterday.
RUSH: Now, we’re updating this saga from yesterday to today because there seems to be some information today that is at variance with the report from yesterday. Let’s go back to yesterday’s report. We’re at this point in the story where Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA), has been inside his home here for about an hour after never really intending to go. Well, I guess he intended to go there. He just didn’t tell the National Guard at first that’s where he wanted to go, but regardless, he’s in there, and he comes out of there with three suitcases, a laptop computer, and a box the size of a small freezer, according to National Guard witnesses. About this time they discovered the five ton truck that had delivered Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA), to his home on Marengo Street in the fashionably affluent uptown section of New Orleans was stuck, and a helicopter was then seen, a rescue helicopter flying overhead. This is the divergence now where the stories go in different directions. According to the ABC report yesterday, the soldiers signaled the helicopters in the air for aid. Military sources say a Coast Guard chopper pilot saw the signal and flew to the home of Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA). The chopper was already carrying four rescued New Orleans residents at the time. A rescue diver descended from the helicopter but Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA), decided against going up in the helicopter with the rescue diver. The pilot sent the diver down again. When the diver went back up without Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA), the pilot said go back down there. But Jefferson twice, the second time, again declined to go up to the helicopter. After spending approximately 45 minutes hovering over the home of Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA), the helicopter went on to rescue three additional New Orleans residents before it ran low on fuel and was forced to end its mission.
The National Guard spokesman said, “Forty-five minutes could be an eternity to somebody that’s drowning, to somebody sitting on a roof, and it needs to be used, its primary purpose during an emergency,” not hovering over Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA)’s house while he decides when he wants to be rescued. Because remember the truck is stuck, but he doesn’t want to get on the chopper because he can’t carry with him the three suitcases, the laptop, and the box that looked like a freezer. All right, that’s yesterday’s story. Here is today’s version in the Associated Press. “A Coast Guard helicopter rescuing people stranded on rooftops also spotted the group at the congressman’s house and sent a rescue swimmer down to investigate. Jefferson said he and the guardsmen tried to wave the helicopter off, but the pilot apparently didn’t see him and the swimmer ended up kicking in a door and entering his house through a balcony.” You see where these stories have taken different paths now. “Cmdr. Brendan McPherson, a spokesman for the Coast Guard, said the helicopter pilot responded to a distress signal from the National Guardsmen outside Jefferson’s house before lowering the rescue swimmer. At the time, water was waist-deep around the house and the guardsmen were standing on the front porch. ‘It was clear to them that they were being signaled, as they had been in many other cases when someone was in distress,’ McPherson said. An Air National Guardsman who had hitched a ride on the truck carrying Jefferson from the Superdome was airlifted from Jefferson’s home by the helicopter, McPherson said, but Jefferson declined the Coast Guard offer of help. Three other people also were rescued from the congressman’s neighborhood before the helicopter returned to Mobile, Ala., he said. Lt. Col. Pete Schneider, a Louisiana Guard spokesman, said Jefferson was the only official who requested a tour of the city via ground transportation. ‘Congressman Jefferson wanted to tour his district and was put in a high water vehicle for that purpose,’ he said.”
So a guardsman takes the ride back with the chopper, not the congressman, a rescue diver from the chopper burst open a second floor door of the home of Congressman William Jefferson. The only thing this story does not mention that the ABC story does is that a second truck, a second five-ton truck was dispatched by the National Guard to the home of Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA), to bring him and the remaining National Guardsmen back to wherever they were because the first truck remained stuck in the mud near the third-floor step of the fashionable affluent home on Marengo Street in the uptown section of New Orleans where lived Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA). Now, we have one more sound bite with this because the story does go on. Paula Zahn said, “You mentioned a federal investigation. Was there anything in your house that were trying to get out that was critical to this FBI investigation of you?”
JEFFERSON (D-LA): I would doubt that. The thing that I wanted to get out was my daughter’s laptop computer and my daughter’s suitcase that I took away. The FBI had been in my house as you know for seven, eight hours. Whatever was there, they got it. I’d been living in my house for three weeks after they came. If there was anything in there I could have taken it then. There was no reason to go ahead and retrieve anything related to the investigation. This is all NRCC smear they’re putting out which is quite a shame, and they’re sending out these notices to all the news media asking them to question me about these things.
RUSH: So this has all been trumped up by the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee is what he’s saying here, but they’re not. I mean, I haven’t gotten anything from them. My sources here are ABC and the Associated Press, and of course Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA), himself as heard last night on CNN’s Paul Zahn Now. The investigation is a sting operation. He apparently was in cahoots, allegedly in cahoots with the vice president of Nigeria who has a home somewhere outside Baltimore, to set up some sort of telecommunications business, and they raided his house whenever they did, the home of Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA), and found a bunch of cash in a freezer, to which I said yesterday, “So what? Doesn’t everybody keep their cash in a freezer? Put it in the oven, that’s a bad place to put it. Why else do you think it’s called ‘cold cash’?”
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