Rep. Jackson: I did nothing wrong but ‘deeply sorry’ over ‘social acquaintance’
Chicago congressman vows to remain in office in wake of Sun-Times report regarding fund-raiser
But the congressman vowed to stay in office in the wake of a Chicago Sun-Times report that a major political fund-raiser has told federal authorities that Jackson directed him to offer former Gov. Rod Blagojevich millions of dollars in campaign cash in return for an appointment for Jackson to the U.S. Senate, to succeed President Obama.
The allegation by Oak Brook businessman Raghuveer Nayak regarding fund-raising runs counter to public statements Jackson has made as recently as last week that he never authorized any deal to attempt to trade campaign cash for the Senate appointment, which ultimately went not to Jackson but to Sen. Roland Burris.
“The allegations about fund-raising and the Senate seat are not new,” Jackson said in a written statement. “I’ve already talked with the authorities about these claims, told them they were false, and no charges have been brought against me.
“The very idea of raising millions of dollars for a campaign other than my own is preposterous,” Jackson’s statement said. “My interest in the Senate seat was based on years of public service, which I am proud of, not some improper scheme with anyone.”
The Sun-Times reported on Tuesday that sources said Nayak told authorities that on Oct. 8, 2008, Jackson directed him to offer Blagojevich $6 million in exchange for the Senate appointment.
Sources said Nayak also told authorities that Jackson asked him to pay to fly a Washington, D.C., restaurant hostess named Giovana Huidobro — described as a “social acquaintance” of the Democratic congressman — to Chicago to visit him. Nayak did so twice, according to the sources.
“The reference to a social acquaintance is a private and personal matter between me and my wife that was handled some time ago,” Jackson said in his statement. “I ask that you respect our privacy.
“I know I have disappointed some supporters, and for that I am deeply sorry. But I remain committed to serving my constituents and fighting on their behalf.”
Having a third party pay for flights at a congressman’s request and not reporting the value of those flights as a gift, if they were worth more than $50, would appear to be “something of value” under the House’s gift ban, according to an expert on the act.
CtPatriot: Now This I find Amusing…
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