MAY 22, 2006
Eight-term congressman Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) who adamantly denies taking bribes despite testimony from key witnesses to the contrary, has been caught on tape accepting $100,000 in cash that he later stored in a freezer.
Jefferson’s former congressional aide and a technology executive have already pleaded guilty to bribing Jefferson and aiding and abetting the solicitation of bribes, but the congressman, a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, has denied any wrongdoing. In fact, one of his lawyers called a weekend FBI raid of his office “outrageous” and unnecessary.
Not surprisingly, the attorney has not commented on the damaging FBI video starring his precious client. It features Williams taking $100,000 in a leather briefcase during a meeting with a government informant outside a fancy Arlington hotel. Federal agents later found the cash stored in the freezer of his Washington home, concealed in food containers and aluminum foil. The money was supposed to go to a high-ranking Nigerian official as part of two African telecommunications deals that Jefferson was brokering.
Blog Critic’s Paul Jordan doesn’t understand why some are amazed that the FBI set up a sting and the “Gentleman from Louisiana” bit the cheese and was caught red handed, specially since this is not the first time Jefferson has flown through the corruption radar. One writer from Red State posts that surely the race card will be played shortly, since Jefferson is black, and that Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) should make Jefferson the poster boy for most corrupt member of Congress.
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