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Federal Impeachment

G. Thomas Porteous, Jr.

Judge Porteous became a federal district court judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana in 1994. In 2008, the U.S. Judicial Conference determined that Porteous had committed judicial misconduct and that impeachment might be warranted; the matter was then forwarded to the House of Representatives for review. He was accused of having a corrupt financial relationship with a law firm involved in a case on his docket and improperly denying a motion to recuse himself from that matter, of being involved in corrupt conduct with bail bondsmen, and of making material false statements and representations under penalty of perjury related to his personal bankruptcy filing. The House impeached Porteous by a unanimous vote in 2010 on four articles: engaging in a pattern of conduct incompatible with serving as a federal judge, engaging in a longstanding pattern of corrupt conduct, knowingly and intentionally making false statements under penalty of perjury, and knowingly making material false statements about his past to both the Senate and the FBI to obtain a federal judgeship. The full Senate heard the impeachment trial, eventually convicting him under all four articles and forever disqualifying him from holding any future federal office.

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