Skip to comments.Kentucky businessman dominates Jefferson trial
Posted on 06/20/2009 9:09:18 AM PDT by jazusamo
The first week of former Rep. William Jeffersons (D-La.) corruption trial was dominated by testimony from the head of a telecommunications firm who said he paid thousands of dollars to the lawmaker for his influence.
Kentucky businessman Vernon Jackson said Jefferson used his office to secure multimillion-dollar deals for the telecommunications firm iGate, and enriched himself in the process.
Jackson is a star witness for the prosecution, which claims Jefferson used his office to help iGate in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. Jefferson faces a maximum of 235 years in prison if convicted on all counts.
Jackson took the stand in a green prison jumpsuit Tuesday through Thursday and is expected to continue testifying on Monday. Hes serving a seven-year, three-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to bribery charges involving Jefferson.
Jackson paid $500,000 to a consulting firm, the ANJ Group, owned by Andrea Jefferson, the congressmans wife. But Jackson testified the money was intended to get the lawmakers help. Prosecutors argued that these payments were thinly-veiled bribes.
I was paying him to use his office on behalf of iGate, Jackson testified, referring to the then-congressman.
Jackson suggested if he had refused to agree with any of Jeffersons terms, Jefferson would have stopped helping iGate.
I didnt want to alienate him because I believed he could take steps to impede my companyeven put us out of business, Jackson said.
Jeffersons defense team argues the payments were legitimate consulting fees paid for his wifes services to iGate. During its cross-examination of Jackson, the defense sought to show that the Jeffersons dealings with iGate were always through ANJ.
Jeffersons defense said the former congressman made no official acts on behalf of iGate and that Jefferson and his family did not benefit materially because of acts Jefferson made as a congressman. They emphasized ANJs business relationship with Jackson and iGate.
Jefferson lost his bid for reelection last fall to Republican Joseph Cao. He previously had won reelection, even after the FBI found $90,000 in unmarked bills in his fridge and linked him to a bribery scheme. Jefferson was indicted in 2007.
The trial is expected to take at least a month, and the prosecution plans to call more than 40 witnesses.
Prosecutors showed jurors letters written by Jefferson on Congressional letterhead to iGate clients, investors, and government officials, introducing himself as Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus of the U.S. Government. Jackson testified that Jefferson secured financing from the Export-Import Bank of the United States for two multi-million dollar ventures in West Africa, never disclosing his financial interest in iGate or ANJ Group.
Jackson said, This is the way he handled all projects in Africa with iGate.
Prosecutors also questioned Jackson about conversations he held with Jefferson that were caught on tape by the FBI. The talks climaxed in a profanity-peppered 2005 phone call in which Jefferson said his dealings with iGate hadnt been above ground, and warned that they could end up in the goddamned pokey if they ousted Lori Mody, a Virginia businesswoman who was a major investor in iGate.
Mody, who cooperated with the FBI as an informer on Jefferson, is not expected to testify for the prosecution.
He’s an unelected dem. He’s toast.
Willy Jeff Ping, Justa. ;-)
Movin on up.......to the big house.
DANG!! You beat me to it. That was the exact phrase I thought of when I saw this article.
Should have indicted him some place other than VA. I expect a little jury nullification to take place. If I were him, I wouldn’t be sweating yet.
Good point. If he walks it’ll be because of an “OJ” jury, I believe.
He must have done something to p*** off The King. He probably didn’t contribute enough to the Royal Campaign Fund.
BTW they are all connected to Chicago......Seem bother ( his political adviser)learned his political expertize at the hand of Daley.....No shiite.
Willie Jeff, Billy Jeff,(our X president) They are all dems.
It seems to me that all southern black democratic politicians are about as interchangeable as 5 watt light bulbs. They all have a bone deep sense of entitlement, and when they're dumb enough or arrogant enough to get caught with their hand in the public cookie jar, they act indignant that anyone would think that what they're doing is wrong. They're all fanatically anti-gun, but spend the taxpayers' loot on armed guards for themselves. (the late and unlamented sos former mayor of Atlanta, Mainturd Jackasson, was an outspoken mouthpiece for Sara Brady, but spent $490,000 a year of taxpayer money on an armed police guard for himself.)
They're all more solidly racist than David Duke. They're 99.99% corrupt and do everything in their power to line their pockets with the taxpayers' money. The smarter ones stay on the legal side of the line between simple corruption and influence peddling and outright criminal activity, but it appears that Jefferson was not one of the smarter ones. In short, they accurately represent the majority of their electorate.
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