Jesse Jackson Jr. has finally admitted he attended a Chicago meeting in which his top fundraiser tried to buy him President Obama’s U.S. Senate seat, but the Illinois congressman assures he was clueless because the plot went down in a foreign language.
Details of the scandalous meeting surfaced during Rod Blagojevich’s summer-long federal corruption trial. The impeached governor, now a convicted felon, tried to sell Obama’s vacated Senate seat and court testimony revealed that Jackson, a Democrat who represents Chicago’s south side in the U.S. House, was among the potential buyers.
Son of the world-renowned civil rights con man, Jackson and his money man, prominent Democratic fundraiser and Chicago businessman Raghuveer Nayak, offered to buy the Senate appointment for $1 million during the 2008 restaurant meeting with Blagojevich’s representative. For months Jackson refused to comment on the encounter, but a few days ago he offered a rather comical explanation on a local radio show.
Jackson claims that, while he was physically at the meeting, he didn’t actually participate because the prominent group of Indian Americans that offered to bribe the governor spoke in a language he didn’t understand, possibly Hindi. “I did not participate in any part of that conversation nor do I even remember hearing it, and I have witnesses present,” Jackson said in the interview which can be heard by clicking here.
The story is somewhat reminiscent of the amusing “I didn’t inhale” explanation delivered by Bill Clinton as a presidential candidate. When the then Arkansas governor was asked if he ever smoked marijuana, he shot back: “I experimented with marijuana a time or two and I didn’t’ like it. I didn’t’ inhale and I didn’t try it again.”
Jackson, who reportedly wants to be mayor of Chicago, is so confident he committed no wrongdoing that he’s invited the feds to “bring it on.” At the very least his unscrupulous scheme to buy a Senate appointment, albeit in a foreign language, will continue haunting him because it’s sure to come up at Blagojevich’s retrial, which is scheduled for early next year.