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

Indian fund-raiser: I met with Jesse Jackson Jr., then made money offer to Blagojevich

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Former state employee Rajinder Bedi testified that hours after meeting with U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill), he approached the brother of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich with a money offer in exchange for a Senate seat appointment.

Bedi, testifying with a grant of immunity, said about a week before the presidential election, he told Robert Blagojevich that a supporter could raise "a lot of money" for the then-governor if he appointed Jackson to Barack Obama's soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat. It was an offer that Robert Blagojevich rejected, Bedi said.

Bedi testified that earlier that same day, Oct. 28, 2008, he, Jackson, and another Indian fund-raiser, Raghu Nayak, met at 312 Restaurant in the Loop. The Senate seat appointment and fund-raising were discussed at the 9:30 a.m. meeting, Bedi said. Then, at about 2:30 p.m., Bedi met with Robert Blagjoevich.

Prosecutor Christopher Niewoehner: "Was there conversation about congressman Jackson's interest in the senate seat?"
Bedi: "Yes"
Niewoehner: "Did Nayak also talk to you about fund-raising?"
Bedi: "Yes he did."

On cross examination by defense lawyer Shelly Sorosky, Bedi talked about what he told Robert Blagojevich hours after meeting with Jackson:
"Did you say that Congressman Jackson was interested in being appointed a senator?"
"Yes," Bedi said.
Sorosky: "Did you say that Mr. Nayak was also interested in Congressman Jackson appointed a Senator?"
Bedi: "Yes."

Sorosky: "Did you also say that Raghu Nayak would raise campaign funds or contribute campaign funds to Blagojevich?"
Bedi: "Yes."
Sorosky: "Did you mention a specific amount of money?"
Bedi: "I said: 'a lot of money.'"
Apparently referring to the last trial, Sorosky asked Bedi if he mentioned $1 million to Robert Blagojevich. Bedi said he didn't remember.

Bedi was put through the wringer since he pleaded guilty to shoplifting at Home Depot last year.
"So you're a thief, right?" Sorosky asked Bedi.
But Judge James Zagel stepped in: "I think you can argue this point without asking him."
Sorosky asked Bedi about other testimony, including that he aided Nayak in a check-cashing scheme to help Nayak evade income taxes.
"So you're also guilty of assisting him in tax evasion, aren't you?" Sorosky asked.
"Yes," Bedi answered.
Nayak is under federal investigation tied to Surgi-Centers he owns, the Chicago Sun-Times has reported.

Last year, Jackson vehemently denied backing any offers made to Blagojevich through Nayak or Bedi. In a radio show, he urged prosecutors to "bring it on."
The Sun-Times reported last year that Nayak told authorities Jackson asked him in a private conversation to approach Blagojevich with a pay-to-play offer for the Senate seat. Jackson called the allegation "preposterous."

A Jackson spokesman on Wednesday had no immediate comment.

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14 Comments

BillBaar; My money is on Rahm Emanuel...He had the most to gain and I don't think the feds play ball like that...but maybe?

So who released the bimbo story after JJ said bring it on? Didn't take long for that to happen.

Yes, Lucas, I think we all want to know why JJJ hasn't been charged -- before the Times reported that Nayak told the FBI, JJJ was in on it, maybe we could have just wondered -- now I want to KNOW. They never called Nayak in the first trial, why? And Bedi, in the first trial, was equivocating about the meeting at the restaurant and what JJJ was in on. I know if I were a juror, I'd be darned if I'd convict someone if I though he was taking the fall for others.

Natasha- Is it your impression the room on 2 is open to the public? I walked in there today and I could tell some of the media did not like that the public was in there too.

I GOTTA SAY THIS BLOG IS A LOT MORE INFORMATIVE THAN THE TRIB.

It would have been real simple if procecution had a seller with actual money and the buyer who has the money.
Why wouldn't this guy lie, lying is a way of life for him? I am sickened to think that the law would actually expect the public to believe a proven crimminal and professional liar. Puleeze. And why is the judge aiding the prosecution withhis comments? This can be us someday, John Q. Citizen, being railroaded by a big Patrick Fitzgerald.

Jesse Jackson Jr. will rat on everyone he does not want go to jail this case will make some big waves. lets make pop corn and watch the new chicago code live

Blago will not like jail at first, but he will get used to it after the first 10 years. The next 20 will kind of drag in slow motion.

Kiran; Because they all belonged to the , " Federation of Indian Associations" and were looking to "buy" representation...

Everybody wonders why the Feds moved in on Blogo BEFORE the deal was sealed.

So what if he had sold the seat? The Feds should have nabbed both Buyer and Seller.

Why is Blagojevich being charged? Testimony from Bedi as well as previous trial shows that Robert rejected all these nonsense offers....calling them the "Keystone Cops". Obama, Jackson and Emanuel have some explaining to do as well...they all weighed in on this Senate seat and it appears there is more to the story...why is that
Not coming out?

Why do you and suntimes keep referring to that Bedi and his accomples as Indian? Or that he is Indian-American?

Do you ever acknowledge that when other people have committed a crime that they are Irish-American, Italian-American or Jewish? Bedi and his accomplice and Jackson are crooks. But you and Suntimes are trying to draw the inference that they are crooks because they are Indian or Indian-American
.

Why is Jesse Jackson Jr. not being charged with a crime?

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on May 11, 2011 10:38 AM.

Blagojevich retrial: Day 11, f-bomb central was the previous entry in this blog.

Blago to Illinois: 'I gave your grandmother a free f---ing ride on a bus. OK?' is the next entry in this blog.

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