U.S. Rep. Pat Swindall, likely heading to trial next week on federal perjury charges, said he will resign from office if he is convicted but expressed confidence he would be exonerated.
A federal grand jury on Monday indicted the two-term Republican on 10 counts of perjury, saying he lied during a money laundering investigation. He pleaded innocent and was freed on his recognizance.Swindall, who will represent himself, moved quickly to schedule his trial next week so the case could be resolved before the Nov. 8 election.
U.S. District Judge Robert L. Vining said he would reschedule another trial to hear the Swindall case Monday if the congressman filed the appropriate motion.
Swindall is seeking his third term representing a suburban Atlanta district, and he vowed to clear himself before the election.
But he said he would resign if convicted "because under the circumstances, I don't think it would be fair to the voters of the 4th District" to remain in office.
His Democratic opponent, former "Dukes of Hazzard" television actor Ben Jones, said, "I feel concern for the congressman and for his family at this point. It is a matter for the courts to decide."
The indictment accused Swindall of lying to the grand jury Feb. 2 during its investigation of a proposed $850,000 home mortgage loan the congressman had discussed with businessman Charles LeChasney and an undercover agent posing as a financier.
LeChasney and four others have been charged with money laundering.