Investigators Take Closer Look at Rep. Jackson in Blagojevich Case

Susan Saulny and Christopher Drew, New York Times, April 14, 2009

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{snip} [A] nagging question follows [Jesse Jackson Jr.]: Was [his] 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?

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{snip} Rick Bryant, a spokesman for Mr. Jackson, said the congressman had been focused lately on finding more jobs for his South Side constituents and pushing for economic-development projects, like construction of another airport in Chicago.

Even some of Mr. Jackson’s allies say that his political star has been tarnished by the continuing scrutiny–and uncertainty–and that Mr. Jackson has emerged as the politician outside of Mr. Blagojevich’s inner circle with the most to lose from the former governor’s troubles.

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The transcripts of wiretap conversations released in the Blagojevich criminal case in December revealed evidence that one of Mr. Jackson’s fund-raisers, Raghuveer Nayak, had promised to raise money for Mr. Blagojevich in exchange for Mr. Jackson’s appointment.

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{snip} The Chicago Sun-Times reported on Monday that Mr. Blagojevich’s people had been told that Mr. Jackson would raise up to $5 million in campaign cash for Mr. Blagojevich.

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