The documents seized in the FBI raid on the offices of Rep. William Jefferson (D—LA) remain unread by Justice Department investigators, pending a federal Appeals Court ruling scheduled for August 27. Jefferson is anxious to overturn the ruling of federal Judge Hogan of the Washington, DC federal District Court, who allowed the raid. One can only surmise that the seized documents contain material even more embarrassing than the discovery of $90,000 in cash in Jefferson's freezer.
But we already know a bit about the charges and some of the alleged partners of Congressman Jefferson. Two people have pleaded guilty to bribing him. One of them is Vernon L. Jackson, owner of a technology company called iGate. The Washington Post reported:�
Federal authorities have alleged in court documents that Jefferson took more than $500,000 in bribes in exchange for using his official position to promote iGate's technology in Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon. The FBI said it videotaped Jefferson taking a $100,000 payoff on July 30, 2005.
The affidavit discloses an alleged scheme in which Jefferson introduced officials from Netlink Digital Television (NDTV), a Nigerian company, to Jackson.
NDTV agreed to pay iGate nearly $45 million for the right to use its technology and to distribute it in Nigeria. The affidavit alleges that Jefferson, without iGate's knowledge, separately negotiated with NDTV officials to receive $5 for each subscriber in "return for Jefferson's official assistance if the deal was successful."
The Post also reports that investigators are examining a number of other companies linked to Jefferson, his wife, and various other relatives. While no details have leaked, and the seized documents have not yet yielded their secrets, it is quite probable that the bribery iGate's owner�has acknowledged is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the dubious business associations of Representative Jefferson.
Many other figures, some of them quite prominent, are likely to turn up as players in the temporarily suspended probe. Independent citizen—investigators, posting at such websites as Just One Minute, Macsmind, and Free Republic, have been poring over publicly—available documents and reports, in search of clues as to the identities of those as yet unnamed in the Jefferson investigation.
Few people outside these internet circles realize that one of those names may be Joseph C. Wilson IV.
The Jefferson—Joe Wilson Connection
Macsmind first mentioned this in May.�I have been thinking about this possibility and reviewing the detailed and well—documented research published at Free Republic by a poster known as 'Fedora,' who has examined public domain information and connected some very interesting dots. Joe Wilson, it turns out, left the State Department and became a business promoter with some rather intriguing connections before he went on his infamous mission to Niger.
In 1998 [Wilson left the State Department and began putting his diplomatic contacts to business use. He formed J.C. Wilson International Ventures Corporation, a business development and management company which ventured in gold, oil, and telecommunications and served clients in Africa, Western Europe, and Turkey. At this time new African markets were emerging due to the recent passage of an African trade bill Wilson had helped President Clinton promote. Wilson's African investment interests included oil markets in several parts of Africa and the gold market in Niger. Wilson also kept abreast of the gold market in Iraq, where the price of gold was exceptionally cheap, as Wilson observed in one of his lectures.10 [....]
Wilson ran his company out of the offices of an investment company called Rock Creek Corporation. Rock Creek was controlled by Mohammed Alamoudi, whom Wilson had met in 1997 at a reception organized for the World Bank by Westar Group. Alamoudi was a member of the Saudi—Ethiopian Alamoudi dynasty, which was heavily invested in the segments of the African economy Wilson was seeking to penetrate.
The Alamoudi—affiliated company Delta Services——a Swiss subsidiary of the Saudi company Delta Oil——handled Iraqi oil export contracts in 2000 and 2001 and was revealed in 2003 as a recipient of Iraqi Oil—for—Food vouchers channeled through Abu Abbas, a Palestinian terrorist with Iraqi connections. Delta Services also cooperated with Afghanistan's Taliban regime in a project to build an oil pipeline from Afghanistan to Pakistan, prior to this project's suspension in 1998. In 1999, Alamoudi was accused by USA Today reporter Jack Kelley of heading a bank which was being investigated for financing Al Qaeda.
USA Today printed retractions of several details in Kelley's article in 2004, after another member of the Alamoudi family——Abdurahman Alamoudi, a prominent American Muslim lobbyist——was indicted on terror—related charges involving a Libyan—backed conspiracy to assassinate Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah. Abdurahman was ultimately convicted in October 2004 and sentenced to 23 years in prison.12 Under Mohammed Alamoudi's direction, Rock Creek was chaired by Elias Aburdene, an Arab—American international banking advisor and lobbyist who had previously advised banks linked to organized crime and intelligence community figures involved in the S&L Scam. In 2003 and 2004 Aburdene donated to the Sandhills Political Action Committee, which was affiliated with Senator Chuck Hagel, 13 a leading Republican critic of the Bush administration's Iraq policy.14
Clinton, Lewisnski, and Africa
Recall the trip to Africa conducted by Bill Clinton in the wake of the embarrassing Monica Lewinski affair, playing to his most reliable voting base, and bringing with him a very large number of African—American business figures, politicians, and other influential individuals.
The trip� cost almost $50 million and was tagged as the most expensive foreign trip by a US President.� Much of this expense was for transportation for the Clinton's took a large delegation with them. The delegation included Jesse Jackson, prominent Black businessmen such as Bob Johnson and the following Congressional delegation: Congressmen Payne ,William Jefferson and� Rangel and Congresswoman Maxine Waters, as well as Secretary Slater.� (Source)�
What is less well known is that the man who orchestrated this trip was Joseph C. Wilson IV co—star of the long—running Plame comedy hour.
'"Joe Wilson really was the architect of President Clinton's visit to Africa," said Leonard Robinson, senior fellow at the McCormack Institute and deputy executive director of the National Summit on Africa.
The emphasis of this trip was to promote African development, US investment in Africa and US—African trade.����
Wilson's role was acknowledged by Clinton. When he hosted a dinner for Ghana's visiting President, Wilson and his wife, noted in the press account of the dinner as 'Valerie Wilson' were among the guests. Another honored guest was� Congressman William Jefferson and his daughter.
According to the SSCI Wilson made at least one other trip to Africa That was made at his wife's suggestion for the CIA in 1999. He made�the second trip there that year as part of a trade delegation. As Just One Minute poster Rocco found these tidbits:
Mima Nedelcovych, Vice President for International Operations, F. C. Schaffer and Associates, Inc traveled with Wilson, Alamoudi and others in Nov. 99, for a trade delegation.
Nedelcovych gave Jefferson campaign donations in 01, 02, and 05.
F. C. Schaffer and Associates is a small Louisiana based sugar company but the curious thing is, the donations aren't from Schaffer, they're from AFRKA GLOBAL/PARTNER
As for the Alamoudis, a substantial amount of information about the family and their links can be found here�(see comment 7)
Following the Wilson—managed Clinton trip, the� African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) was signed into law on May 18, 2000 as Title 1 of The Trade and Development Act of 2000. The Act offers tangible incentives for African countries to continue their efforts to open their economies and build free markets.
Corruption , however, has been a continuing problem in Africa and those monitoring the impact of the Act have urged more transparency and monitoring of those countries deemed eligible to participate.
Joe Wilson's new incarnation as a wheeler—dealer in corruption—rife countries in Africa was a perfect fit for his role as impresario of the massive Clinton delegation to Africa, which brought together corruption—stained individuals on the lookout for future business opportunities.
The investigation of William Jefferson may well shed some unwanted light on him, many others in Congress, the Clintons, Wilson and who exactly the AGOA benefited and how.�August 27th is coming soon.
Clarice Feldman is an attorney in Washington, DC and a frequent contributor.