"Freezer Burn" is the nickname his Republican opponents have attached to the scandal surrounding William Jefferson, CBS' Sharyl Attkisson told us. Jefferson is the Democratic congressman from Louisiana who was caught with $90,000 in cash hidden in a freezer in his house as part of an FBI sting. All three networks assigned a reporter to cover the formal filing of racketeering charges against Rep Jefferson some two years later. As part of its sting, "the FBI videotaped him accepting a $100,000 bribe in cash" outside a hotel, NBC's Pete Williams recalled.
Jefferson's expertise on the Hill was in African development, ABC's Jake Tapper explained. In that capacity he helped organize telecommunications, energy and agribusiness investment in Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Congo, Guinea, Sao Tome and Botswana. The indictment alleges that he demanded $8m in kickbacks for family-owned businesses and bribed a Nigerian politician to pave the way for some of deals. Tapper called the indictment "right out of The Sopranos"--although he did not explain what he meant. Jefferson maintains his innocence.
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