Jackson says he's cooperating with Senate seat inquiry
WASHINGTON - Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. confirmed yesterday that he is the subject of a preliminary inquiry from a congressional ethics board looking into his attempts to be appointed to the Senate seat vacated by President Obama.
The Illinois Democrat said he is cooperating with a review from the Office of Congressional Ethics. The board is looking into Jackson's interactions with former governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois, who was indicted last week on a variety of corruption charges including allegations he attempted to sell the vacant Senate seat.
"As I said when the Blagojevich scandal first broke back in December, I have done nothing wrong and reject pay-to-play politics," Jackson said in a statement.
"I'm confident that this new ethics office, which I voted in favor of creating, will be able to conduct a fair and expeditious review and dismiss this matter."
Jackson said he was told of the inquiry last week.
Jackson, the son of civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, has previously acknowledged he was "Senate Candidate A" in Blagojevich's criminal complaint.
According to the complaint, Jackson was one of several candidates to whom authorities allege Blagojevich tried to shop the Senate seat now held by Roland W. Burris. Jackson's supporters were willing to raise $1.5 million for Blagojevich if he picked the congressman, according to the filing.