Jefferson ‘Cold Cash’ Trial Begins

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A briefcase ( pictured at left above ) that once contained $100,000., and that former New Orleans Congressman William Jefferson took from an FBI informant and placed in the trunk of his car, sat on a table in front of the podium as Assistant U.S.Attorney Mark Lytle told the jury they would hear “a startling and often disheartening account of public corruption at the highest levels of our government”. The jury was shown photos of foil wrapped bricks of cash concealed in Pillsbury Pie Crust and Boca Burger boxes that were found in the Congressman’s freezer.
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In the defense’s opening statement attorney Robert Trout told the jury that the ex-Congressman “did not take a  bribe…did not solicit a bribe…is not guilty of any of these charges.”

Times-Picayune story here.

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Courtartist is me, Art Lien. I've been sketching the courts since 1976, and for most of that time the U.S. Supreme Court has been my regular beat. I've been working almost exclusively for NBC News since 1980. Courtroom sketching is a form of visual journalism or reportage drawing that is slowly dying out. Where once upon a time news organization each had their own artist covering a story, today a "pool" artist often sketches for all. It is a demanding and stressful discipline where the drawing is often done directly and under tight deadline.

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