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Pricey Dinner With Congressman William Jefferson and FBI Informant Turns Mushy to Favorite Childrens Book Velveteen Rabbit

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Business woman Lori Mody wore an FBI wire during the  dinner to help the FBI snare a congressman. But during the pricey meal, the conversation got a little mushy. The two started talking about a favorite childrens book Velveteen Rabbit. Will the conversation make jury more sympathetic to the ex-Congressman?

By Jonathan Tilove
Washington bureau
WASHINGTON — The purpose of the four-hour dinner that William Jefferson shared with Lori Mody on May 12, 2005, at Galileo, one of Washington’s finest restaurants, was ostensibly to talk money, as befits a meal that ended up costing the FBI $1,023.15.

The amount of Jefferson’s equity share in Mody’s Nigerian venture was the main item on the official agenda.

But, according to excerpts of tapes, which were secretly recorded by Mody for the government and released Thursday by Jefferson’s defense team, it was about much more.

It was about trust and loyalty and human frailty. It was about fathers and daughters, about Jefferson’s pride in his five grown girls — “the best thing I did right” — and Mody’s advising Jefferson that perhaps in him, she had found a man with a rare combination of intellect and “street smarts,” a man she could trust like no one since her father.

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