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Tag: Jefferson

Key Witness in Cong. William Jefferson Case Gets Substantial Reduction in Sentence for Cooperating

Jefferson stands next to attorney Robert Trout during sentencing /Sketch by Art Lien/NBC News
Jefferson stands next to attorney Robert Trout during sentencing /Sketch by Art Lien/NBC News

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A key prosecution witness in the public corruption trial of ex-Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson, could be seeing daylight soon.

As expected, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III of Alexandria, Va., in a written filing on Dec. 11 substantially cut the sentence of key witness Vernon Jackson from 87 to 40 months. The government had asked that the judge cut the sentence by 50 percent.

Jackson, 57, owner of a high-tech, Kentucky-based business called iGate, had pleaded guilty to bribing Jefferson in exchange for the Congressman’s help promoting business in Africa.

As part of the guilty plea, Jackson agreed to cooperate and ended up delivering some key testimony during the summer trial that resulted in Jefferson being convicted on 11 of 16 counts of public corruption.

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And the Answer is: Ex-Rep William Jefferson Won’t Testify at His Trial

After all the speculation and suspense, in the end, the defense played it safe and decided not to let Jefferson take the stand on his own behalf. With 16 counts, the odds are stacked against the Congressman. So it may be hard to tell whether it was the right move.

The Jefferson trial/courtesy of Art Lien/NBC News

The Jefferson trial/courtesy of Art Lien/NBC News

By Bruce Alpert
New Orleans Times-Picayune
ALEXANDRIA, VA. — Former Rep. William Jefferson is not expected to testify in his federal corruption trial, his attorney said today, setting up the possibility that the defense could open and rest its case Thursday.

Lead attorney Robert Trout told Judge T.S. Ellis III, that “we do not expect” to call the nine-term Democrat to testify on his on behalf.

Ellis said both sides had assured him they could wrap up the case by mid-day Thursday, when the court will recess for a long weekend, staying out through Monday. Closing arguments could begin when court resumes Tuesday, with the jury getting the case later next week.

For Full Story

FBI Informant in Jefferson Case Sent Email to Agent Likening Herself to a “Star”

William J. Jefferson

William J. Jefferson

The defense hopes to show that then Congressman Jefferson was simply dealing with the FBI informant as a business person, not a Congressman. He’s got an uphill battle in this area. But as a defense, it’s worth a shot.

By Bruce Alpert
Washington bureau
ALEXANDRIA, VA. — In an e-mail message to the lead FBI agent in the William Jefferson corruption case, government informant Lori Mody likens herself to a “star” awaiting reviews from the critics.

The Mody e-mail, dated May 13, 2005, was sent the day after she and Jefferson shared a $1,023 dinner in which conversations were secretly recorded by the FBI. The contents of the message were provided by defense attorneys as part of a brief filed Monday.

In the filing, Jefferson’s attorneys ask Judge T.S. Ellis III for permission to play excerpts of tapes not being presented by the U.S. Justice Department in the former congressman’s trial, which entered its ninth day of testimony Monday.

During the dinner, in which Jefferson’s attorneys say “considerable amounts of wine” were consumed, Jefferson allegedly wrote on a piece of paper that he wanted an 18 percent to 20 percent share of a company Mody had created to develop a telecommunications project in Nigeria. The government has labeled that a bribe solicitation.

For Full Story