Skip to comments.U.S. says it has evidence of 2 more bribe tries (Jan. 16 trial of William Jefferson D-La)
Posted on 11/17/2007 5:50:40 PM PST by Libloather
U.S. says it has evidence of 2 more bribe tries
Alleged schemes to be presented at Jan. 16 trial of Rep. Jefferson
Saturday, November 17, 2007
By Bruce Alpert
WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department said Friday that it intends to present evidence of two additional bribery schemes, including one involving efforts to win a contract with NASA, as part of its corruption case against Rep. William Jefferson, D-New Orleans.
In both cases, prosecutors said, Jefferson sought a payoff for relatives in exchange for his help in setting up business deals.
The government listed 11 schemes in its June 4 indictment, which accused the nine-term congressman of bribery, racketeering and violation of the corrupt foreign practices act. The Justice Department is not looking to add any charges to the indictment, but said it plans to use the two new alleged schemes as evidence at the trial, which is scheduled to begin Jan. 16.
In a separate filing Friday, the Justice Department said it planned to offer as an expert witness Abner Mikva, a former Democratic member of Congress from Chicago, former judge and former counsel to President Clinton. It said Mikva will contest defense arguments that Jefferson didn't commit bribery because the government charges deal with private business deals, not official acts of Congress that are at the heart of the bribery statute.
According to the filing, Mikva will testify that constituent services are matters "routinely brought before members in their official capacity." Jefferson's lawyers have argued that Jefferson's help for private companies seeking contracts in West Africa were not part of his official duties -- such as voting, introducing legislation or instigating committee actions.
"Judge Mikva is also expected to opine that membership in certain congressional committees and caucuses...
(Excerpt) Read more at nola.com ...
I wonder what the RATS think about felons voting in the House of Representatives...
This RAT resigns after Thanksgiving.
"On or about July 14th, 2005, Defendant Jefferson wrote a letter on the letterhead of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation to NASA's administrator on Company H's behalf," the Justice Department brief said. "In the July 14 letter, Defendant Jefferson wrote of 'the challenge of providing the necessary budget resources to NASA, in an era of tight budgets,' and in the next sentence he wrote 'we encourage your close consideration of (Company H).' "
The Justice Department said Company H was pursuing "a number of business opportunities," including "commercial launch contracts" with NASA.
The Justice Department said that 20 days after the letter was written, searches of Jefferson's residences and other locations were executed by the FBI and "this scheme did not develop further."