Former Missouri State Senator Jeff Smith Reflects On Going From Politics To Prison

Turns out what he thought was "something fishy" was actually something illegal.

It was 2009, and Jeff Smith was serving in the Missouri state Senate when a campaign misstep from his 2005 congressional run came to light -- one that would ultimately land him in prison.

When aids ran the idea of a campaign donor sending postcards condemning Smith's biggest political rival, Smith "knew it smelled funny." But the congressional hopeful felt "frustrated and desperate" about his campaign," he told HuffPost Live on Tuesday, and decided to overlook it.

"I knew there was something fishy about working with an outside person," Smith recalled, "[but] instead of telling my two aides, 'Hey, don't meet with this guy again,' I said, 'Look, whatever you guys do, I don't want to know any details.'"

It was an affidavit he signed afterwards, in which he covered up his knowledge of the defamatory postcard, that would put him behind bars. Watch Smith tell his story in the video above, and check out his full HuffPost Live conversation here.

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