Opening statements in William Jefferson’s corruption trial set to be delivered today

Prosecutors and defense attorneys should deliver opening statements today in the federal trial of former Rep. William Jefferson, who is facing 16 counts of corruption.

It’s possible prosecutors will also call their first witness this afternoon — perhaps Vernon Jackson, the CEO of iGate Inc., who pleaded guilty to paying bribes to the nine-term New Orleans Democrat.

On Monday, the Justice Department moved to prevent Jefferson’s attorneys from playing recordings of conversations not offered as part of the government’s corruption case against their client.

The taped conversations at issue in the filing include a dinner meeting between Jefferson and Lori Mody, a cooperating witness for the government, on May 12, 2005, at Washington’s Galileo restaurant. A Justice Department exhibit says the dinner tab came to $1,023.15.