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Ex-Rep. William Jefferson Trying to Discredit Key Witness By Getting Psychiatric Records

Ex-Rep. William Jefferson’s defense in his upcoming public corruption case is becoming clearer. For one, he insists any of his actions to drum up business for himself was not done under the official capacity of a Congressman. And two, he plans to discredit the sanity of a key witness, Lori Mody, a wealthy business woman who wore a wire after telling the feds that she was being shaken down for cash.

Regardless whether he can prove that the witness is mentally unstable, he’s got an uphill fight in that area. The government has videotape of him taking money from Mody and audio tapes of him talking to her, sounding more like a mobster than a Congressman, acting paranoid about the FBI and trying to avoid the mere mention of the word “cash”.

By Bruce Alpert
New Orleans Times-Picayune
WASHINGTON — If a key government witness against former Rep. William Jefferson has “qualms” about producing mental health records and answering questions “it is the charges that must yield, ” not Jefferson’s “right to defend against them, ” his attorneys say.

Documents filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., where Jefferson is scheduled to go on trial May 26 on 16 corruption charges, also reveal previously unreleased transcripts of FBI recorded conversations with the witness, Virginia businesswoman Lori Mody. The tapes describe her as worried about a possible stalker and having “a lot of personal issues” at the time she and Jefferson worked together on a Nigerian telecommunications project.

In the papers, Jefferson’s attorneys said that at some of the meetings between Mody and the congressman “considerable amounts of wine was consumed.” They also said the Justice Department had revealed in a previously sealed document that Mody was undergoing something (the phrase is redacted by court order) that affected her ability “to concentrate.”

The attorneys said they are entitled to raise these issues to challenge the credibility of Mody, who they describe as the key witness against the nine-term New Orleans Democrat.

For Full Story

Read One of Jefferson’s Motions for Pyschiatric Records of Witness


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