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Report: Jackson’s father lawyers up

Thursday, Dec 11, 2008 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Buried in a Channel 5 story

Also, the congressman’s father, Jesse Jackson Sr., has retained legal council following the Blagojevich arrest.

Let’s not read too much into this, but one can’t help but wonder about this passage from the criminal complaint…

In a recorded conversation on October 31, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH described an earlier approach by an associate of [Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.] as follows: “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 [Congressman Jackson] a Senator.” [emphasis added]

* The Sun-Times editorial board took Congressman Jackson to task today over the alleged emissary

But if Jackson does not soon learn the identity of the emissary and publicly denounce that person, we would be disturbed by Jackson’s lack of curiosity and outrage.

Blagojevich, after all, had no problem believing that the emissary spoke for Jackson and could raise large sums of money. There can only be a small number of people within Jackson’s political world with those qualifications.

We’re also curious why Blagojevich would even believe it possible Jackson would pay to play.

To be fair to Jackson, Blagojevich at times comes off as delusional in his recorded statements. He seriously considered that President-elect Barack Obama would appoint him to his Cabinet.

But at other times, the governor is a cold-eyed realist.

Throughout his news conference, Jackson interspersed his denials with what sounded like a stump speech for the Senate.

The congressman is getting ahead of himself.

It appears as if there will be a special election for the open Senate seat — a critical step toward restoring voters’ confidence.

But the only way to resuscitate Jackson’s dying bid is to shine a bright light on what did — and didn’t — happen with the governor.

And not leave unanswered questions — and voters — hanging.

* By the way, I’m hearing that this is not very likely

NBC Chicago learned that Jackson Jr. was given a phone call from the U.S. Attorney’s Office the night before the governor was taken into custody, advising him that the arrest was imminent.

[Hat tip to a commenter in our breaking news post.]


  1. - wordslinger - Thursday, Dec 11, 08 @ 12:33 pm:

    Since the tapes came out, I think we’ve all had the same idea in the back of our minds as to who an emissary might be.

  2. - Northside Bunker - Thursday, Dec 11, 08 @ 12:36 pm:

    2009 is going to be a banner year for Chicago and Illinois attorneys.

  3. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Dec 11, 08 @ 12:45 pm:

    After I was a whistleblower about corruption in Navy Recruiting Command, I went to Rainbow/PUSH. Some of my allegations including abuse of minority scholarship programs for “Whites” and discrimination against Blacks and Latinos in the recruiting process.

    Rainbow/PUSH asked me for money and other stuff and implied that if I did what they wanted they’d look at my allegations seriously.

    After working with Rainbow/PUSH for a little while I concluded Jesse Jackson had no interest of working on any case that didn’t give him the opportunity to get in the media or for him to pressure a corporation for contributions to Rainbow/PUSH. And Rainbow/PUSH didn’t do anything except what Jackson wanted.

    Jackon, Sr. has been a self-serving jerk for decades. I will be happy to see him taken down if he did offer a bribe.

    And based on what I’ve seen of how he operates extortion and questionably ethical fundraising are his MO. It doesn’t take much imagination for me to see him move to bribery.

    And both Junior and Senior lawyering-up…. Obama’s team seems to be on track to releasing all relevant information without hiding behind lawyers. SEIU hasn’t lawyered-up…. Where’s there’s smoke, there’s often fire.

  4. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Dec 11, 08 @ 12:48 pm:

    On Tuesday, Rod Blagojevich was going to name Jesse Jackson Jr. as the Obama replacement, hence the decision by Fitzgerald to arrest Blagojevich at 6AM that morning.

    An emissary for Jackson, who we do not know at this time, had made arrangements with Blagojevich. Whether those arrangements were illegal will be decided at a later date. Jackson himself was not the contact, which he affirms. Yet it seems a deal had been arranged as early before the November general election, electing Obama.

    From there, a publicity campaign was conducted by Jackson to press for his appointment. This unusual tactic gives a cover for their earlier agreement. As Jackson campaigns across Illinois, getting endorsements and publicity, he can make it appear that Blagojevich is appointing him out of public approval.

    So Jackson himself isn’t personally involved in the aggreement, just as he wasn’t involved with the groundwork done for him back when he first ran for Congress. He can honestly make the statements he made yesterday and claim that he did nothing illegal, or authorize anything illegal on his behalf. He just never had to do those things.

    Sandi was to replace him in Congress after Blagojevich appointed him as Obama’s replacement. What Blagojevich got was some good promises from an important Jacksonian player on the Congressman’s behalf.

    I have openly wondered why Jackson campaigned for Obama’s seat and after reading through the dates the FBI tapes gave us, put this scenario together.

    Bottom line - Jackson isn’t technically guilty. But his actions clearly showed us that he was aware of some kind of quid-pro-quo on his behalf with Blagojevich.

  5. - Speaking at Will - Thursday, Dec 11, 08 @ 12:48 pm:

    I am having difficulty believing that Jesse Jr. is telling the truth in all this. I am always a bit worried when people use absolute or terminal statements as JJJ did yesterday.

    “It’s an impossibility!”

    Does JJJ have such control over his people that there is no way possible that someone approached the gov with an offer of some kind?

    If I might state the obvious, somethin aint right here.

  6. - I'm just saying - Thursday, Dec 11, 08 @ 12:56 pm:

    VM, Although your conspiracies are amusing, please let it be noted that all of this paper work was drawn up on Sunday in front of a judge. BEFORE JJJ met with Blago…..

  7. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Thursday, Dec 11, 08 @ 1:00 pm:

    If Sr. had no contact with Blago or his staff he wouldn’t lawyer up, right? You don’t need a lawyer if all you have to say is I did’t talk to anyone.

  8. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Dec 11, 08 @ 1:02 pm:

    VanillaMan’s scenario seems plausible to me.

    Why would JJJ have a public campaign for the U.S. Senate seat? It didn’t make that much sense to me.

  9. - Impeachment - Thursday, Dec 11, 08 @ 1:03 pm:

    Check out Hoffmans 2008 election opponent on St. Louis Fox News from this morning.

  10. - montrose - Thursday, Dec 11, 08 @ 1:04 pm:

    *VM, Although your conspiracies are amusing, please let it be noted that all of this paper work was drawn up on Sunday in front of a judge. BEFORE JJJ met with Blago…..*

    You mean before JJJ SAID he met with Blago.

  11. - Captain America - Thursday, Dec 11, 08 @ 1:10 pm:

    Will JJ take the fall for his son Triple J. Ultimately, it appears they may be seriously tarnished by Pinocchio’s greed and the Jackson lust for power.

    Both Jacksons must be considered innocent until proven guilty. So I’m reserving my personal judgment. But it doesn’t look good for either of them especially JJ Sr. He’ll have the best lawyers mony can buy. They may not have JJ Sr. on tape -Blago’s testimony would be worthless absent corroboration by the fed’s wire.

  12. - ChgoMike - Thursday, Dec 11, 08 @ 1:13 pm:

    PRITZKER, Was she being consdiered for the Senate seat as well?

  13. - vole - Thursday, Dec 11, 08 @ 1:14 pm:

    Has anyone reported on any double crossing that had previously happened between FIVE and Blago that Blago referred to in the taped conversation?

    With all of this coming from Blago’s own mouth I can’t help but to think that all this speculation is based solely upon someone none of us trusts. But blood in the water is hard to resist.

  14. - Anon - Thursday, Dec 11, 08 @ 1:19 pm:

    The identity of the “emissary” isn’t a mystery to those who know how JJJ operates. It’s not his father (although his father might be “the other guy”).

    The Sun Times — themselves VERY familiar with how JJJ operates — MUST know exactly who it is. Crain’s certainly does.

  15. - Conservative Republican - Thursday, Dec 11, 08 @ 1:32 pm:

    I think the Sun Times approach is wrong. Jackson, Jr. has to be given a break on disclosing more info on this, including identity of the emissary. Because the entire matter is under federal investigation, and “disclosures” from Jackson’s camp, presumably made with some measure of political calculation anyway, would be deleterious to the ongoing federal investigation. He has a right to remain mum and should be given the benefit of the doubt about it.

    On the other hand, there are clearly possible adverse political consequences for staying mum, but Jackson would just have to weather that storm, even if the consequences, e.g. losing the opportunity to become Senator, are undesired.

  16. - I give - Thursday, Dec 11, 08 @ 2:01 pm:

    OK Anon, I give, who is the mystery “emissary?”

  17. - Holden Court - Thursday, Dec 11, 08 @ 2:10 pm:

    ^Kenny Johnson (AKA The Richmond Group)?

  18. - Swami says - Thursday, Dec 11, 08 @ 2:24 pm:

    Rich, I hate to speculate but the emissary is a certain deputy chief of staff in the Governor’s office. He is no stranger to controversy…

  19. - rw - Thursday, Dec 11, 08 @ 2:25 pm:

    I hope both the Jacksons are stopped. It’s been going on long enough.

  20. - Jail house Rod - Thursday, Dec 11, 08 @ 2:27 pm:

    Does anybody really think Jackson, innocent or guilty, will be able to ride this out? Trying hard to put my personal dislike for the guy aside, I think he’s tainted and has no chance of winning a special election or being appointed.

  21. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Dec 11, 08 @ 3:28 pm:

    Jackson was contacted by the Feds about his emmissary’s mission and cut a deal with Jackson that Jackson let them know when Blagojevich was going to make his announcement. That occurred Monday. On Tuesday morning the Feds caught Blagojevich before his press conference was announced. The Feds also notified Jackson that they were going to pounce.

    Jackson himself is not a target. He wasn’t the one to deal personally with Blagojevich until Monday, when Jackson said he met with him. The Feds aren’t interested in Congressman Jackson’s role, so what he claimed yesterday is true.

    However, what we can surmise is that the Congressman was willing to make some kind of a political deal with Blagojevich, Blagojevich bit, the Feds recorded it, and Jackson was brought into the case. In order to prevent the ruination of the entire Senate appointment, the Feds got Jackson to notify them when the deal with Blagojevich was finished and there was an agreement between Blagojevich and Jackson as to the timing of the announcement. The Congressman cooperated since his situation was already wrecked by his emmissary’s taped conversation with Blagojevich.

    The concern for Jackson was working with Blagojevich as to when the announcement was made, or whether Blagojevich spilled the beans on his decision before Jackson’s dealings with the Feds were done.

    His public campaign for Obama’s seat was created ahead of time so Jackson continued with it so that he has some kind of cover if Blagojevich announced without him. As I mentioned earlier, once the deal between Blagojevich and Jackson’s guy was done before Election Day, the public campaign was the ruse to create a cover for their private decision.

    Had Blagojevich simply announced Jackson without Jackson’s public campaign, the first question in everyone’s mind would have been, “What was the deal”? So the campaign created the opportunity for both parties to claim that public support for Jackson was the motivation behind the selection and enabled both Blagojevich and Jackson to spurn conspiracy theories of some kind of collusion and deal making - which is what actually happened.

    The Fed taping between Blagojevich and Jackson’s guy wrecked their plans.

  22. - Keep Smiling - Thursday, Dec 11, 08 @ 3:36 pm:

    Seems to me that political pops in this state are very aggressive in advancing the careers of their young ones, regardless of whether or not they are authorized by their kids to do so. I’ll give 3J the benefit of the doubt as to what he knew and what he authorized. Unfortunately, activist dad might have seen it as his fatherly duty to push the Gov a little and maybe offer some future campaign “support”. And unlike his son, JJ doesn’t seem like much of an Obama fan - remember the “by the nuts”comment?. Anyway, it would sure be something if JJ sunk his sons career in an aggressive effort to advance it. But we’ll see.

  23. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Dec 11, 08 @ 3:46 pm:

    ==Does anybody really think Jackson, innocent or guilty, will be able to ride this out?==

    He is in a politically safe Congressional district. He won’t have to face re-election until 2010. So he is comfortably in Congress.

    But whoever called Blagojevich for Jackson blew his Senate chances when Blagojevich used the wired phone in later conversations.

    I don’t see a US Senate seat for Congressman Jackson either through appointment or election within the current election cycle. After twelve years of crafting an image of being his own man, Congressman Jackson’s image will be forever tied to his namesake and the entourage that comes with it that do his powerful bidding.

    And let’s refer once again to Jackson’s press statement yesterday about his famous name.

    “Somewhere along the way over the last two and a half years I got the idea that if a skinny kid with a funny name could be President of the United States, then a short kid with a somewhat controversial but certainly a high profile name could be a Senator from Illinois. I entered this process with that expectation, and I hope that the people of the state of Illinois and the people of our country will measure me based on the content of my character.”

    I think we can understand why he said that now, don’t we?

  24. - You Go Boy - Thursday, Dec 11, 08 @ 4:14 pm:

    Good Lord, is this the Trifecta we’ve all been waiting for …. I’d gladly give my winnings to a truly worthy cause.

  25. - Take It Easy - Thursday, Dec 11, 08 @ 4:43 pm:

    Ch 5 kind of buried the information on Sr in the middle of the story.

  26. - Shelbyville - Thursday, Dec 11, 08 @ 5:25 pm:

    I thought it was Jesse SR., myself. He always has his hand out.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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