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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.

By Ben Pershing  |  April 8, 2009; 4:38 PM ET
Categories:  Ethics and Rules  
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Next: Obama vs. Earmarks, Part II


Jesse Jackson Jr. did something to inspire an ethics investigation? No...I am shocked. This is amazing. Isn't he from the South Side of Chicago. Wow, this is unreal. I can't imagine.

Posted by: Phil6 | April 8, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

OF COURSE Mr. Jackson is cooperating...I'm sure he remembers his testimony in Mr. Pius Ailemen's trial...

Posted by: tracthis | April 8, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

I hope Blagojevich turns state's evidence and rats out all the rest of Chicago's corrupt politicians. It would create a lot of vacancies and could be an economic stimulus since those positions will have to be filled.

That would be change we could all believe in.

The ethics probe should be very short, he doesn't have any.

Posted by: jamesmullen250 | April 8, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Isn't this guy some sort of an official? This is the lowest of the low in human disguise. This person appears to have been an informant (SNITCH) for the government even before the Blago thing on totally (supposedly) different criminal things.

This guy would never be responsible for any wrong doing because he (as an official) has been informing-SNITCHING on his cohorts-other co-workers of sort to get out of jail. We have made our county and its people to act like Communists. Send others to jail to get out of jail or to get ahead in life. Then again, such is life? in these times? Or always?

Is there any righteousness in our society?

Posted by: SOCIETY1 | April 9, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Jesse Jackson Jr is a member of the BLACK CAUCUS. It should be INTERESTING to watch and see if there is a member/members of the BLACK CAUCUS on the Board of Ethics and if that person excuses themseleves or not from sitting on that Ethic Board!!!

Posted by: yojoe | April 9, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

And candidates 1-4 are??

Posted by: judig1 | April 10, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

i'm shocked,surprised,bewildered, cannot beilieve this revalation.


Posted by: lookitkup | April 10, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

There is no excuse, in a country with as high as moral values that we profess to the rest of the world, that we would allow this kind of unpunished conduct in the Chicago and Illinois governments and even use it as a joke. What I want to know, is how much Barack Obama paid for his Senate seat. I mean this in all seriousness. Corruption has been the hallmark of Chicago machine politics since the 1960's when Mayor Daley literally raised the dead to beat Richard Nixon, and put Kennedy over the top.

Posted by: ROYSTOLL2 | April 10, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I must have stumbled into the right-wing kooks' corner. There's not a one of you here that has made single valid point... except the one who asked who candidates 1-4 were...and what about that, anyway?

Posted by: jehovahjones | April 10, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

A note to Roy Stoll2: If you will research the senate election which placed Barack Obama in the Senate, you will find that the original Republican candidate had some offensive sex-related issues in a failed marraige. A shell black candidate was then chosen by the Illinois Republican party as a substitute. That choices ensured that Obama would be the successful candidate. Please check facts in the future lest you contract the age-old disease: Hoof-in-Mouth.
Yes, Illinois is in dire need of an ethics infusion on the part of both of the major parties. Illegal activity seems to be particularly contageous for politicians of both parties.

Posted by: maab76 | April 13, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Why are Americans so quick to judge someone before knowing and understanding the TRUE fact? I thought you are innocent until proven guilty. If you are aware of corruption in our government and have been throughout its existence; why would you not think there is corruption and deception in what your media broadcast? We’ve been witnessing the uncovering of politics like never before on a daily bases. So my question is, if America is a country of people who believe in treat others as you would want to be treated, why are we so quick to call for someone's head before we understand the TRUE facts? I am sure each of you would want a fair and honest investigation if it were you. Americans must learn to listen more, research more and stop being quick to react to condemnation before getting the facts. Understand how words become tools to destroy innocent lives because one judged through emotional assumptions vs. fact based knowledge.

Posted by: ConsciousMindz | April 13, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

ConsciousMindz- Thanks for the voice of reason post.

Posted by: Gator76 | April 14, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

And this shocks who exactly? The WaPo would do well to do a thorough background check of Barry Dunham Soetoro Hussein Obama!

Posted by: vgailitis | April 14, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

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