The U.S.Senate today convicted Louisiana Judge G. Thomas Porteous on four articles of impeachment, making him the eighth federal judge in history to be removed by Congress. A motion barring him from holding future federal office also was approved.
United States Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., voted to convict Louisiana District Judge G. Thomas Porteous on all four of the House of Representatives’ Articles of Impeachment and to disqualify him from holding any future federal office and issued the following statement:
Landrieu said: “Because of the overwhelming evidence presented to the Senate during this trial, I am convinced that Judge Porteous actively engaged in illegal kickback schemes that benefitted him and other family members, while serving as a state Judge.
“ As a nominee to the federal bench, he submitted false statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee about these matters, as well as about his troubling illegal gambling habits and his extreme gambling debts. Judge Porteous has brought disgrace and shame upon himself. He has harmed the reputation of the federal bench and violated the trust of the people of Louisiana.
“Our system of justice, particularly a seat on the federal bench, demands the highest ethical standard, a standard that Judge Porteous failed to reach. That is why I voted to convict him on all four Articles of Impeachment and voted to further disqualify him from holding any future federal office.”
House prosecutors said gambling and drinking problems led to the New Orleans’ native and former district judge’s acceptance of cash and other favors from attorneys and bail bondsmen who appeared before him in federal court. In addition, he was accused of lying to Congress during his confirmation hearings and filing bankruptcy under a bogus name.
Porteous was appointed to the federal bench by President Bill Clinton in 1994, and is the first judge to be impeached and convicted since 1989 when Walter Nixon of Mississippi and Alcee Hastings of Florida were removed from office. Hastings later won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he still serves.
The case is the first impeachment trial since President Clinton was tried and acquitted in 1999.