Chicago Sun-Times
Inside the Rod Blagojevich investigation and related cases

Jackson on cash for Senate seat scam: Fundraisers were speaking Hindi.

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Natasha Korecki
Federal Courts Reporter

As he dips his toes into the City's Mayoral fray, U.S. Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. declared this morning that if government prosecutors have evidence on him tied to Rod Blagojevich: "Bring it on."

Jackson, speaking on WLS-AM 890 "Wade and Roma" show this morning, for the first time publicly responded to an allegation that he was present at a meeting when fund-raisers discussed raising $1 million for Blagojevich in exchange for Jackson's appointment.

Jackson said two Indian fund-raisers began speaking in another language at an October 28, 2008 meeting and he didn't know what they were saying.

"I'm not alone at the meeting, it baffled me, you know: 'Jackson sits alone with the Indians,' he said, referring to media coverage after testimony at Blagojevich's trial.
"How about this? Congressman meets with Director of Economic Development and Trade for the State of Illinois...met with him for 30 minutes in the presence of other people and discussed the third airport. Then another gentleman showed up and started having another conversation practically in Hindu, because I don't speak Hindu because I don't speak Hindu ... and I didn't participate in any of that part of the conversation, nor do I even remember hearing it. And I have witnesses present."

One of the witnesses, Rajinder Bedi, testified at Blagojevich's trial that Jackson was sitting with him and another fund-raiser, Raghuveer Nayak, when the $1 million was discussed. Bedi, a government witness, did not say he was speaking in Hindu.
Bedi then testified he paid a visit later that same day to Rod Blagojevich's brother, Robert, and passed along a message that the then-governor would receive campaign money if Jackson were appointed.

The allegation was among the most high-profile of the charges against the former governor. Blagojevich was convicted of one count and jurors were deadlocked on 23 others. His retrial is likely to happen in January, when the Mayoral race will be in full swing.
"And let me say it again: And I have witnesses," Jackson said, emphasizing each word. "So whatever happened to the idea that someone is innocent in America until proven guilty? I've gone through 20 months of unprecedented accusations, of unprecedented besmirching of my character."
"I know that may not be enough for some people. But I've kind of endured this for 20 months."
Jackson was also asked about his closed door meeting with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel this week.
He denied that they both agreed not to bring up Blagojevich should they go head to head in battle.
But he didn't waste time throwing the first stone, noting that Emanuel is on government tapes while he is not.
"The prosecution has concluded, I assume, that what I have to say doesn't contribute to their case," Jackson said. "I assume they have no evidence or else they would have brought a charge.
If I'm a conspirator -- bring it on."

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4 Comments

Why would the Indians offer any amount of money to Rob without clearing it with JJJ first??? It doesn't make any sense...Neither does the defense never getting the minutes to the 2 hour interview Obama had with Fitzgerald after the Balanoff testimony where the judge clearly stated just day's before he wouldn't give the defense the interview unless they could show direct contact with B.O...The defense could have used the contents of that interview in thier cross of Balanoff, DID they just forget??? I don't think so, just as I don't think the reason given not to call Rezko was quite accurate...In fact I'm willing to bet that the feds don't retry Rod, I think they made a closed door deal....haven't seen Rod in a while...what's up with that?

THE PLAN WAS TO DIRTY UP JACKSON IN CASE DALEY DIDN'T RUN FOR HIS MAYORAL SEAT, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, BUT IN CHICAGO HIS NAME CARRIES ALOT MORE WEIGHT THAN SOME MAY THINK!

You forget to mention Jackson said they were speaking "...or swarmi" too. Swarmi a kind of swandwich I think. So the good Congressman had his wires crossed.

I remember another famous politician who publicly stated"I'm cleaner than clean,whiter than white ,I'm Mr. Clean"...Alderman Thomas Keane..address after the trial ,a federal penitentiary ,which one I do not remember but probably the 'country club' in Oxford,Wisc.,where all the good soldiers go from the political arena in Chicago!!!

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on September 17, 2010 8:11 AM.

Charges dropped against Wall Street Journal Reporter was the previous entry in this blog.

Fund-raiser: Jackson told me to approach Blagojevich with $6 million offer is the next entry in this blog.

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