The Trial of Former Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA): Exhibits Show "It's For The Children..."

As jury selection began yesterday in the bribery and racketeering trial of former Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA), prosecutors released a 152-page list of exhibits. Contained in those exhibits are details of tuition payments made by Jefferson and the “ANJ Group” in support of his daughters’ elite educations.

Exhibits in Jefferson trial reveal payments to daughters’ colleges

Nothing in the court document suggests that Jefferson’s daughters were aware of or complicit in the crimes the government alleges he committed, only that the former congressman’s children, and the very expensive private schools they attended, were the beneficiaries of what the government says were bribes paid to ANJ Group — a Jefferson family enterprise — in exchange for the influential lawmaker’s help in securing contracts for American companies in western Africa.

The prosecution’s contention that Jefferson solicited bribes to help pay his daughters’ tuition or other expenses at Harvard, Brown and Boston universities and to help provide for them would seem to provide a motive and a measure of poignancy to the proceedings at the Virginia courthouse.

The prosecution’s case will depend heavily on hours of secretly recorded tapes of Jefferson talking to Lori Mody, a Virginia businesswoman who went to the FBI with her suspicions about what Jefferson was doing, and ended up wearing a wire. …

“Before I started paying for tuition, I wasn’t poor, ” Jefferson told Mody. “But now I’m kind of poor.”

“Now it’ll be flowing in, ” Mody said.

[emphasis added]