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  New questions about Jackson and Senate seat
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Last EditedImperator  Sep 21, 2010 07:24pm
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AuthorJeff Coen
News DateWednesday, September 22, 2010 01:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionUPDATED at 3:50 p.m. with statement from Ald. Sandi Jackson; previously updated at 12:56 p.m. with Jackson statement; originally posted by Jeff Coen at 10:51 a.m.

New details emerged today that raise a fresh round of questions about U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s role in the Senate seat scandal that brought down former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, even as the congressman contemplates a run for mayor of Chicago.

An Indian businessman with ties to Jackson and Blagojevich told federal investigators the congressman asked him to raise campaign money for Blagojevich in hopes the then-governor would appoint Jackson to the Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama, sources familiar with the investigation told the Tribune.

The allegation contradicts Jackson’s assertion that he did not direct such an effort. It surfaced in the Chicago Sun-Times today, just days after Jackson did broadcast interviews saying he had nothing to worry about from the federal investigation that led to Blagojevich’s trial on charges he sought to sell the Senate seat to the highest bidder.

The revelations Tuesday involve interviews with the FBI that predate the Blagojevich trial. Jackson issued a statement today denying some of the allegations and apologizing to voters.

"The allegations about fundraising and the Senate seat are not new. I've already talked with the authorities about these claims, told them they were false, and no charges have been brought against me," Jackson said in the statement. "The very idea of raising millions of dollars for a campaign other than my own is preposterous. My interest in the Senate seat was based on years of public service, which I am proud of, not some improper scheme with anyone."
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