Image: Former Rep. William Jefferson
Win McNamee  /  Getty Images
Former Louisiana Democratic Congressman William Jefferson, center, arrives at U.S. District Court Tuesday with his wife, Andrea Jefferson, left, almost 4 years after federal investigators allegedly found $90,000 in his freezer.
updated 6/9/2009 1:56:14 PM ET 2009-06-09T17:56:14

Jury selection has begun in Virginia in the trial of a former Louisiana congressman charged with taking bribes.

A pool of nearly 100 potential jurors filled out a questionnaire Tuesday as the first step in the trial of William Jefferson, a Democrat who represented parts of New Orleans.

The former congressman said afterward he's confident he can make his case to the jury. He was charged in 2005 after federal agents found $90,000 in cash stashed in the freezer at his Washington home.

Jefferson is going on trial in U.S. District Court in Alexandria on charges including bribery and racketeering. He's accused of receiving more than $400,000 in bribes in return for using his influence to broker business deals in Africa.

Attorneys are expected to question potential jurors individually Wednesday.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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