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Jesse Jackson Jr. Subject of Ethics Inquiry

POSTED: 04:45 PM ET, 04/ 8/2009 by The Editors

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) has now confirmed that a congressional ethics board has launched a preliminary inquiry into his bid to take over the Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama.

The Office of Congressional Ethics is reviewing Jackson's ties to Rod Blagojevich, the former Illinois governor. Blagojevich was indicted last week on corruption charges after allegedly trying to sell the seat.

In a statement confirming the inquiry, which first was reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, Jackson said: "I have done nothing wrong and reject pay-to-play politics."

Jackson has said that he never offered to raise money for Blagojevich. "I did not initiate or authorize anyone at any time to promise anything to Gov. Blagojevich on my behalf,'' he said in December, when his links to the matter first surfaced.

The Office of Congressional Ethics is a new panel created last year. As the Wall Street Journal reminds us, the eight-member, bipartisan board has no subpoena power. At least one Democratic appointee and one Republican appointee must sign off on an inquiry. If the office finds a case has merit it passes the matter to the House Ethics Committee.

Jackson, the son of civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, has previously acknowledged he was "Senate Candidate A" in Blagojevich's criminal complaint. According to the complaint, Jackson's supporters were willing to raise $1.5 million for Blagojevich if he picked the congressman. Blagojevich chose Roland Burris for the job.

By The Editors |  April 8, 2009; 4:45 PM ET Blagojevich Scandal , In the News
Previous: The Stevens Six; Jackson Faces Ethics Probe; Housing Agencies Under Scrutiny | Next: Holder Names New Ethics Chief; Rep. Jackson Denies Wrongdoing; Another 'Mini Madoff'?

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