The case against Njock Eyong (subscription required) was strange from the start. But in recently filed court documents, federal prosecutors shed light on how this law school student allegedly impersonated an official acting for Rep. Donald Payne (D-N.J.), for whom the student interned on Capitol Hill.
According to a document filed yesterday, Eyong, a student at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minn., used official stationery and the fax signature of Payne to demand that consular officials in Germany and Cameroon issue immigration documents to certain individuals in 2003.
The letters "claimed falsely that the individuals had been invited by the Congressman to attend meetings of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. and that all expenses would be paid by Congressman Payne." When embassy officials refused, Eyong called them to express displeasure, prosecutors wrote.
When investigators first confronted Eyong with the evidence, he "disclaimed any knowledge, pretending to speculate that they may have been sent by a friend of his — now dead — who he had allowed to visit him at the Congressman's offices. But when he was shown the handwritten sheets, he "admitted" that he may have indeed sent the faxes.
What's more, the government is seeking to introduce evidence that Eyong perjured himself when he testified for the asylum petition of an individual claiming to be his brother.
The government wrote, "Testimony that the immigration judge described as 'apparently perjured'... occurred while the defendant knew he was under investigation" in the Payne matter.