Finally! Something of an early Christmas gift to Republicans.
That "culture of corruption" meme Democrats were making a major part of their fall campaign message took a major blow over the weekend with Rep. William Jefferson's congressional office being raided and the release of a tape of him accepting a $100,000 bribe.
The court document was the basis for an FBI search of Jefferson's congressional office on Saturday and Sunday. The FBI had no comment on what it found in the 18-hour search.
According to the document, the FBI recorded a series of conversations between Jefferson and the informant, leading up to a July 30, 2005, meeting at a hotel in the Virginia suburbs of Washington. What happened next was captured by the FBI on videotape, the document said.
"At the close of the meeting, (the informant) and Congressman Jefferson exited the building and stood before the open trunk of (the informant's) car. At that time, Congressman Jefferson reached in and removed a reddish-brown colored leather briefcase which contained $100,000 cash in denominations of $100 bills," according to the court document.
"He placed the briefcase in a reddish-brown colored cloth bag, then took the bag, containing the briefcase and the $100,000 in cash and placed it inside the passenger compartment of his 1990 Lincoln Town Car and drove off."
According to the document, the money was to be used to bribe a high-ranking Nigerian government official who had agreed to help an American telecommunications company do business in Nigeria.
Just finding a completely impartial juror — i.e. one who's never received one of those e-mails from a former Nigerian official who had his funds confiscated from the former corrupt military government of of Sani Abache — might cause this trial to go on forever.
Good luck, Mr. Jefferson. Hardly exonerating the GOP from the taint of Duke Cunningham and Tom DeLay — but at least cash bribes are very easy to explain in campaign commercials.