Louisiana Political News Wire
Cash remains a problem for former U.S. Rep William Jefferson
Former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson's lawyers are doing their best to paint their client as a victim of cooperating witness Lori Mody's manipulations, and of the FBI's zeal "to bag a congressman," as they put it. Yet the longer the public corruption and bribery case goes on, the more obvious it becomes why those very same lawyers have warned jurors that they might well find Jefferson's behavior unethical and deserving of their disapproval. Government prosecution photo showing some of the money hidden in William Jefferson's freezer. The money was in aluminum foil and stuffed into this frozen pie box. The picture the prosecution has painted of Jefferson so far, just over a month into the trial, is indeed unflattering. And while jurors have heard Mody encourage Jefferson to take a larger share of their Nigerian telecom deal for himself and explain just how he planned to bribe that country's vice president, they've also seen some bad behavior on Jefferson's part that can't be explained away by invoking the FBI or Mody's motives or techniques. The jury also has heard from onetime business associates who say Jefferson strong-armed them to set up companies, sign contracts, loan him money or cut in his relatives, even when the witnesses claim to have expressed misgivings. Just this week, two Louisiana businessmen testified that Jefferson pushed them to include his brother Mose in a deal to take over some marginal African oil fields.
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