There's more news out today about the investigation into Rep. Bill Jefferson (D) of Louisiana. The details are still sketchy, and somewhat contradictory as they emerge from articles in the Post and the Times-Picayune. But what now seems clear is that Jefferson got caught up in an FBI sting.
The Post suggests the sting centered on a high-tech start-up firm in Northern Virginia, while the hometown paper points to a much more complicated and muddled series of connections with foreign ties and trips to Africa and South America.
Whatever the details, and even if this is a sting, the two articles contain more than a bit of information that Jefferson might have gotten stung.
Sources told the Post, for instance, that one item seized in the raids on Jefferson's homes was "a large amount of cash that was kept in a freezer."
The Times-Picayune adds some details to that nugget, if pretty loosely sourced ...
Fawer [Jefferson's lawyer] disputed rumors since the raids that agents left Jefferson's Marengo Street home with a large amount of cash, perhaps as much as $500,000, and that they had timed their raids out of concern that in his then-impending trade mission to Brazil, Jefferson was providing himself an opportunity to move the money out of the country.
"That's just nonsense; it's not true," Fawer said. "I can't tell you there was no money seized, but it is not true that sums like that were taken either here or in Washington. I don't believe the money was in the six figures."
I'll be curious to hear when this investigation started or revved up.