A video shown to federal jurors Friday showed an influential ex-legislator reviewing a bill to benefit what he thought was a real company, then taking cash from an undercover FBI agent.
Jurors in former state Sen. John Ford's corruption trial also heard an audio recording of a telephone conversation from a few days later, when Ford tells the agent how he would introduce the bill.
"I know exactly what to do. You in good hands," Ford tells the agent, identified in court only by his undercover name of L.C. McNiel.
Prosecutors played the tapes as they tried to prove charges of extortion, bribery and threatening a federal witness in a corruption probe that has also ensnared local officials in Memphis and Chattanooga.
Thomas Lifson adds:
When are newspapers going to realize that they give away their political bias by stupid tricks like this? Probably never. The propagandist's impulse is too strong.