* Unless he has strong evidence to the contrary, Congressman Jackson is now officially washed up politically outside his district…
A supporter of U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. told the Democratic congressman in 2008 that he would raise $1 million in return for then- Gov. Rod Blagojevich naming Jackson to the U.S. Senate, a federal prosecutor said Wednesday.
The allegation, made on a busy day at Blagojevich’s federal corruption trial, was the first time authorities publicly suggested Jackson was aware of efforts by his allies to swap campaign cash for his appointment to the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.
The Sun-Times has more on the meeting of Jackson and Raghuveer Nayak, who reportedly offered Rod Blagojevich a million dollars if he appointed Jackson to the US Senate. Also present at the meeting was Blagojevich employee Rajinder Bedi, who was allegedly acting as a go-between…
The conversation turned to Jackson’s interest in the U.S. Senate seat, which in a matter of days would be up for grabs once Barack Obama became president.
“The thing that’s significant, Nayak says: ‘I will raise $1 million for Blagojevich if he appoints you [Jackson] to the Senate seat,’” Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Niewoehner told U.S. District Judge James Zagel with the jury out of the room. Niewoehner said Bedi heard Nayak tell Jackson this. He did not offer any more details.
Hours later, Bedi met with Rod Blagojevich’s fund-raising chairman, Robert Blagojevich.
“That statement … leads Bedi to mention [to Robert Blagojevich] that Nayak is interested in doing fund-raising for Blagojevich, and he wants Jackson appointed,” Niewoehner said.
Fortunately for Blagojevich, the jury wasn’t allowed to hear that testimony. But this next part is very unfortunate for Blagojevich…
Three days later, Gov. Blagojevich was recorded talking about overtures for Jackson in a conversation with one of his deputy governors, Robert Greenlee. […]
“Unbelievable isn’t it,” responded Blagojevich. “Then I, we were approached, pay to play. That, you know he’d raise me 500 grand, an emissary came, then the other guy would raise a million, if I made him a senator.”
In a Dec. 4 telephone call with one of his advisers, Fred Yang, Blagojevich said he was now keeping an open mind on “clearly somethin’ I would never have considered and that’s Jesse Jr.”
Here’s why this is so bad for Blagojevich. Just yesterday, you will recall, Blagojevich’s attorneys told the judge that their defense would be that Blagojevich “did not honestly, and in good faith, believe his acts and conduct, nor his intent, were illegal.” They then suggested that he acted on the advice of others, including his legal counsel. Those recorded statements and others (we’ll get to one of those in a few seconds) totally undermine the defense.
* If you’d like to hear some real drama, click here and listen to Blagojevich being informed by his press secretary that the Tribune is about to run a story that the FBI had him under electronic surveillance. The full transcript is here. It’ll give you the chills.
The very next morning at 7:45, Blagojevich tells his brother not to go ahead with his talks about that Jackson money.
Blagojevich clearly knew that what he did was wrong because he ordered it undone. His defense is gonna be worthless. Also, he’s a former prosecutor, for crying out loud. It’ll be hugely tough to claim ignorance of the law.
* Trial roundup…
* Blago Often Away From Office, Aide Says: A former aide says Rod Blagojevich on average spent about two to eight hours a week in his office when he was governor of Illinois. Former Deputy Governor Robert Greenlee testified Thursday at Blagojevich’s corruption trial that generally during working hours the former governor was either at home or attending high-profile events.
* Conrad Black requests bail in 2007 fraud case
* News-Gazette: ‘Honest services’ decision a victory for slippery pols
* Blagojevich trial: Day 21 and recap
* Sneed: So he says . . . The Blago beat . . .
* Blagojevich Was Acting on Advice From Counsel: Defense
* Recording: Blagojevich Learns He’s Being Taped
* ‘Recordings of me?’
* Blago’s Brother: ‘Get Something’ For Senate Seat
* Cash back
* A hazy distinction
* Prosecution: Suburban fundraiser was for Jackson appointment
* Witness: I told Robert Blagojevich about Jesse Jackson Jr. and campaign money
* Did Jackson Offer Blago a Million Dollars?
* Jesse Jackson Jr. knew of $1 million offer for Senate seat, prosecutors say
* Feds: Jackson Jr. at meeting on Senate seat/fund-raising trade
* Prosecutor: Jesse Jackson Jr. at meeting where $1 million and Senate seat discussed
* A meeting with Jesse Jackson Jr.
* Jury hears toned-down version of Jackson meeting
* Jackson donor and former state employee: I lied on taxes, engaged in check-cashing scheme
* Blagojevich on Jesse Jackson Jr: “He’s a f—— articulate incompetent.”
* Blagojevich brother says of Jackson appointment: It’ll never happen
* Defense says Blagojevich ‘killed’ Jackson appointment
* Blagojevich on tape: “F— you, Harry Reid.”
* Daley pal Sean Conlon spars entertainingly with Blagojevich lawyer
* Jesse Jackson Jr. supporter and former state employee Rajinder Bedi to testify
* Questions about contract changes
* Gerry Krozel: I lied to the FBI to get them out of my house
* Road builder: I lied to FBI about pressure from Blago
* Defense: Gerry Krozel testimony doesn’t match statements to investigators
* Robert Blagojevich’s attorney: Robert didn’t talk to road builder about fund-raising
* A question too far?
* Daley friend testifies about Patti Blagojevich brokerage fee
* Property prices were hiked so Patti would get cut, witness says
* Rod Blagojevich to road building exec: Soon I won’t be able to “bully you guys”
* Blagojevich Makes LeBron Pitch
* Wednesday’s phone transcripts in text format