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House Ethics Committee will continue investigation into Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.


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Washington Post:

WASHINGTON — The House Ethics Committee announced Friday it will continue its investigation into allegations Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. or someone acting on his behalf offered to raise campaign cash for then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich in exchange for a Senate appointment in 2008.

The committee also released an initial report from the Office of Congressional Ethics that said there was “probable cause” to believe that Jackson either directed a third party or had knowledge of a third party’s effort to convince the since-convicted Blagojevich to appoint Jackson Jr. in exchange for campaign cash.

The report, originally compiled in August 2009, also said there is “substantial reason to believe” Jackson Jr. violated federal law by using his congressional staff to mount a “public campaign” to secure a Senate appointment.

The report had not been released previously and the ethics committee had delayed its investigation because the Justice Department was conducting a criminal investigation that led to Blagojevich’s conviction on a series of corruption charges including efforts to sell a Senate appointment. The Justice Department recently withdrew its request for the committee to defer its investigation, indicating it is no longer actively investigating Jackson.

The ethics committee had previously said it would determine by Friday what course its investigation would take involving Jackson, a Democrat and son of civil rights leader Jesse Jackson.

The younger Jackson responded to the committee’s decision to extend the investigation with a statement pledging to cooperate and reiterating that his efforts to be appointed to the Senate were above-board.

The Spirit of Bribes Past...
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