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Lawyer for Judge Porteous Tells Senate His Client Is ‘Something of a Moocher’

Posted Dec 8, 2010 8:28 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The lawyer for U.S. District Judge G. Thomas Porteous told senators on Tuesday that his client is “something of a moocher” who committed mistakes but is not guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors.

Porteous is represented at his impeachment trial by George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, according to the Associated Press and the New Orleans Times Picayune. Turley argued that Porteous accepted some gifts, but they were a common occurrence in the New Orleans legal community. Turley also says his client was improperly targeted for conduct that occurred before Porteous became a federal judge. He posted the post-trial brief (PDF) at his blog.

But the lead House prosecutor, U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Porteous is guilty of corruption, citing evidence that the judge once took $2,000 from two lawyers before deciding a case in their favor. "Counsel has taken to calling it a wedding gift, as if it were a piece of china from the Pottery Barn," Schiff said of Turley’s argument. "This is at best defense counsel at his most creative."

The Senate will likely issue a final vote on Wednesday, Turley says on his blog.

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