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  Investigators Take Closer Look at Rep. Jackson in Blagojevich Case
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Last EditedArmyDem  Apr 14, 2009 09:39am
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MediaNewspaper - New York Times
News DateMonday, April 13, 2009 03:00:00 PM UTC0:0
Published: April 13, 2009

CHICAGO — Representative Jesse L. Jackson Jr. went to see the Illinois governor in December to press for an appointment to the United States Senate seat being vacated by Barack Obama. Mr. Jackson took along a black binder filled with letters of support, poll numbers and lists of his accomplishments over 13 years in Congress.

By dawn the next morning, the governor, Rod R. Blagojevich, was under arrest and accused of trying to sell his appointment to the seat. And Mr. Jackson landed in his own political hot seat as federal prosecutors revealed wiretap evidence that one of his fund-raisers had promised to raise $1.5 million for Mr. Blagojevich in exchange for the appointment.

Mr. Jackson asserts he has done nothing wrong and had not known about the fund-raiser’s activities. But with new indications that federal prosecutors and Congressional ethics investigators are stepping up their interest in Mr. Jackson, a nagging question follows him: Was that December meeting with Mr. Blagojevich a good-faith effort to land the Senate job or a charade to conceal behind-the-scenes maneuvers with Mr. Blagojevich to pay to play?

Federal prosecutors would not comment on the investigation, but lawyers who are familiar with it said Mr. Jackson was pressed earlier this month about his contacts with Mr. Blagojevich, who has since been removed from office and indicted on racketeering and other charges. Prosecutors want to know whether Mr. Jackson had initiated any deals with Mr. Blagojevich or his staff, the lawyers said, and whether he knew that anyone was working on his behalf to secure the seat.
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