Jackson Jr. Says He's Cooperating With Ethics Probe
By Ben Pershing
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) acknowledged Wednesday that he is the subject of a preliminary ethics investigation into his relationship with indicted former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich and his efforts to win appointment to the Senate seat vacated by President Obama.
The Jackson probe is being handled by the Office of Congressional Ethics, a new body established in 2008 to vet allegations against lawmakers and staff to determine whether they merit a more comprehensive investigation by the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. The Jackson probe, which was first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, marks the first effort by OCE that has leaked into public view.
"I am cooperating fully with the preliminary review being conducted by the Office of Congressional Ethics," Jackson said in a statement released by his office.
"I was notified last week about the inquiry and am eager to answer any questions and provide any information to the OCE about my actions related to last year's vacant Senate seat. As I said when the Blagojevich scandal first broke back in December, I have done nothing wrong and reject pay-to-play politics. I'm confident that this new ethics office -- which I voted in favor of creating -- will be able to conduct a fair and expeditious review and dismiss this matter."
Jackson showed up as "Senate Candidate 5" in the initial criminal complaint filed by the Justice Department against Blagojevich, and "Candidate A" in last week's indictment of the former governor. Blagojevich allegedly believed he would be given $1.5 million by Jackson's allies if he named the lawmaker to Obama's Senate seat, but Jackson has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
The OCE is run by a six-member board, headed by former Reps. David Skaggs (D-Colo.) and Porter Goss (R-Fla.). It does not have to publicize whatever action it chooses to take on the Jackson case. Though the lawmaker himself is cooperating, OCE does not have subpoena authority and so may not be able to secure the cooperation of other key witnesses in the probe. And even if OCE does recommend that the House ethics committee investigate Jackson, that panel traditionally does not probe charges while they are part of an ongoing federal investigation.
April 8, 2009; 4:38 PM ET
Categories: Ethics and Rules
Save & Share: Previous: Franken Increases Lead in Minnesota Senate Contest
Next: Obama vs. Earmarks, Part II
Posted by: Phil6 | April 8, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: tracthis | April 8, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jamesmullen250 | April 8, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: SOCIETY1 | April 9, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: yojoe | April 9, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: judig1 | April 10, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: lookitkup | April 10, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ROYSTOLL2 | April 10, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jehovahjones | April 10, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: maab76 | April 13, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: ConsciousMindz | April 13, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Gator76 | April 14, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: vgailitis | April 14, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.