California state Senator Leland Yee appeared in federal court in San Francisco Monday as a followup to his arraignment on federal corruption and firearms trafficking charges last week.
His attorney is questioning the three-year FBI investigation that led to the arrest. Senator Leland Yee's attorney Paul DeMeester asked why it took until Wednesday for the FBI to file charges when it appeared the investigation of his client began in 2011.
DeMeester in particular questioned why the FBI appeared to shift the focus of its probe from a cash-for-influence case to an investigation of alleged connections to international arms dealers.
"It also raises the question of whether they did nothing, the government did nothing, that they had a case they could make until the end. They started pushing, the agents started pushing this idea, the arms dealing," he said.
Legal analyst Royal Oakes says the legal problems facing Senators Yee, Ron Calderon, and Rod Wright, could take years to unravel.
"The problems faced by Yee and his fellow state senators under investigation and charged with crimes, it seems like it's taking a lot of time. It's really the tip of the iceberg, we're probably going to be seeing years of back and forth in terms of disposing of their criminal cases and determining their status as members of the Legislature in California."
Yee and two fellow Democratic state senators were suspended from the legislative body last week. Senators Ron Calderon and Roderick Wright are involved in separate legal problems of their own.
Senate President Pro Temps Darrell Steinberg joined Ed Crane and Amy Lewis on Tuesday morning to discuss the situation.