But now he's been caught-- and caught in a big way.
As for the $100,000, the government says Jefferson got the money in a leather briefcase last July 30 at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Arlington. The plan was for the lawmaker to use the cash to bribe a high-ranking Nigerian official — the name is blacked out in the court document — to ensure the success of a business deal in that country, the affidavit said.
All but $10,000 was recovered on Aug. 3 when the FBI searched Jefferson's home in Washington. The money was stuffed in his freezer, wrapped in $10,000 packs and concealed in food containers and aluminum foil.
Two of Jefferson's associates have pleaded guilty to bribery-related charges in federal court in Alexandria. One, businessman Vernon Jackson of Louisville, Ky., admitted paying more than $400,000 in bribes to the lawmaker in exchange for his help securing business deals for Jackson's telecommunications company in Nigeria and other African countries.It probably took you about 0.2 seconds to realize that Republicans will be repeating Jefferson's name as much as possible prior to the elections, and it's a sure bet that the MSM will run with the meme that both parties are suffering from corruption, no matter how lopsided the tally. (As recently as May 7, NPR's Mara Liasson was repeating the untrue claim that Jack Abramoff gave money to both parties.)
So what is Jefferson's response to the charges and apparently damning evidence? He won't step down, and he'll run again a la Tom DeLay. Here's hoping that Democratic pressure is enough to convince him to step down should the charges prove true.