By Allan Lengel
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Federal prosecutors on Friday accused Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-La.) of soliciting bribes in two alleged schemes that had not been previously disclosed.
The allegations, detailed in a seven-page document filed in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, will not result in new charges, prosecutors said, but they plan to present them during Jefferson's federal bribery trial as evidence of a pattern of intentional wrongdoing.
In 2002, the government alleges, Jefferson asked a lobbyist of a U.S. oil service company for $10,000 a month for a family member in exchange for Jefferson's assisting the company in promoting business in Africa. The lobbyist turned down Jefferson's request, the document said.
Three years later, according to the filing, Jefferson allegedly agreed to urge NASA in a letter to consider doing business with a U.S. rocket technology and rocket launch services company. In exchange, the company allegedly agreed to pay Jefferson's family business and a relative.
In June, a federal grand jury indicted Jefferson, 60, on charges that he used his official position to solicit hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes for himself and his family, falsely reported trips to Africa as official business and sought to bribe the former Nigerian vice president. He has denied wrongdoing.
A spokesman for Jefferson declined to comment Friday night.