UPDATED: Down Goes Porteous

The Senate voted 96-0 on Article I of the impeachment, 69-27 on Article II, 88-8 on Article III and 90-6 on Article IV. He’s the eighth federal judge to be convicted and removed by the Senate using the impeachment process.

Says the Picayune:

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the lead House impeachment manager, told senators Tuesday that Porteous had demanded payments and gifts from lawyers and bailbonds executives to help support “a lifestyle which he couldn’t otherwise afford” that included frequent gambling at casinos. Schiff said Porteous so corrupted the system that in a complicated federal hospital case one of the parties felt a need to bring in a “crony” of the judge to its legal team because the other side already had hired a Porteous friend.

“Everyone around the judge has fallen,” Schiff said. “The bailbondsmen have gone to jail, the other state judges he helped recruit have gone to jail, the lawyers who gave him the cash lost their law licenses and (have) given up their practices. The judge is a gambler and he is betting that he can beat the system just one more time.”

Turley, the George Washington University law professor who served as Porteous’ lead counsel, told senators that the judge made mistakes, mostly because of financial problems related to a gambling addiction. Some of it was unseemly, such as taking free lunches and other gifts, but none of his actions came close to the sinister plot of kickbacks painted by House impeachment managers, Turley said.

UPDATE: Sez Rep. Scalise:

“Today’s overwhelming conviction of Judge Porteous will finally remove the cloud that has existed over the Eastern District, and sends a strong message of support for a zero tolerance policy against corruption by public officials,” Scalise said. “Following Hurricane Katrina, those of us who came back vowed to rebuild the New Orleans region both structurally and politically, and we committed to rebuilding a better system than before the storm.  Part of that better New Orleans includes reforming the old, corrupt system of the past, and ensuring that corruption is not a part of Louisiana’s future.”

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