Afternoon News:

  • Rep. [sw: William Jefferson] (D-LA) secured a $100,000 bribe for the Vice President of Nigeria to get leverage in dealing with the Nigerian state phone company, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Jefferson received the $100,000 from Lori Mody, the woman who wound up turning on the congressman, and promptly hid $90,000 in his freezer while telling Mody that he had given the money to the Vice President. The money was recovered in an FBI raid of Jefferson’s house. The big question here is whether Jefferson was ripping off Mody and is that why she decided to turn him in?
  • All eyes are on the congressional race to fill [sw: Duke Cunningham]’s (R-CA) House seat. Cunningham resigned last year and subsequently pled guilty to accepting bribes and was sentenced to 8 years and 8 months in prison.
  • Another big race will test how Abramoff-related charges are affecting the image of Sen. [sw: Conrad Burns] (R-MT) as he faces a state Sen. Bob Keenan in the Montana Senate Republican primary.
  • The Associated Press rewards bad journalism.
  • Closing arguments in the David Safavian case will be held next Monday, according to the Associated Press.
  • And finally, House Minority Whip [sw: Steny Hoyer] (D-MD) asserted that Jefferson should step down from the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. When asked why he gave this reason, "I think the reason is because he sits on a tax-writing committee and he had $90,000 found in his freezer … I think he’s got a tax problem, if nothing else." (CongressDailyPM)