Even though U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. says he has gotten a clean bill of health from federal prosecutors, sources tell the Chicago Sun-Times he’s not yet in the clear.
Prosecutors always tell dirty politicians that they’re not suspects, don’t they? At least, they do until they’re ready to arrest them.
Investigators want to know what Jackson knew about allegations that a Jackson “emissary” offered to raise at least $1 million in campaign contributions for Gov. Blagojevich in exchange for appointing the Democratic congressman to a U.S. Senate seat, sources say.
Jackson says he knows nothing. But, as Bill Clinton taught us, you’ve got to study the wording.
“I never sent a message or an emissary to the governor to make an offer, to plead my case or to propose a deal about a U.S. Senate seat, period,” Jackson said Wednesday.
Junior says he never sent someone to the governor to negotiate a bribe. But what if it’s more of a mafia thing, with nods and code words?
Imaginary Conversation with Imaginary Fundraising Tycoon:
Tony: “I’d love to see you in that senate seat, Congressman. No one deserves it like you do.”
Jr: “You are most kind, Tony, but there are certainly others who’ve paid their dues – maybe not 13 whole years, but others have made their efforts.”
Tony: “Not like you, Triple J, not like you. Anyway, I’ve got a meeting with Blago today – trying to figure out if he’s ruined my chances at those construction projects he owes me with his goddamn tapes, and I’m figuring I’ll put in a good word for you on, you know, that thing.”
Jr: “Well, one thing I’ve learned about you, Tony, you’re going to do what you say you’re going to do.”
Tony: “And today is no different. Tell pops I says hi.”
Jackson says the person he never sent wasn’t being sent to “plead his case,” or to “propose a deal.” These are the sorts of phrases that graduates of the Clinton school of parsing can drive Air Force One through.
I want to make this fact plain. I reject and denounce pay-to-play politics and have no involvement whatsoever in any wrongdoing.
Which is why the Junior press conference on Wednesday, powerful and moving to some, left me unimpressed.
I did not initiate or authorize anyone at any time to promise anything to Governor Blagojevich on my behalf.
Any politician worth his salt can put on a little performance offering up indignation and a passionate defense of his integrity. If he’s innocent, though, why use so many words.
In the 13 years that I have served in the Congress of the United States, I only missed two votes. And there is no Democrat and no Republican in the Congress of the United States who can say that.
That is relevant… how?
I thought mistakenly that the governor was going to make a decision in the best interest of our state as well as our nation. I thought mistakenly that the governor was considering me based on my 13 years of hard work on behalf of the people in our state as well as our nation.
You were the one man in Illinois who believed the governor not to be corrupt?
I did not know that process had been corrupted. I did not know that credentials, that qualifications, that a record of service meant nothing to the governor.
A record of service? That’s not really of much concern to Americans these days, is it? Blago is on the Obama bandwagon!
I thought, mistakenly, that the process was fair, above board, and on the merits. I met with Governor Blagojevich for the first time in four years on Tuesday. I presented my record, my qualifications, and my vision.
I love when they claim ignorance as a way to impress us.
The media saw me enter the governor’s office, and after a 90 minute meeting about my qualifications, the media saw me exit Governor Blagojevich’s office.
That’s right, Junior. And no one knows what went on during the 90 minutes we weren’t invited in for. But it’s not too hard to figure out.
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