Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) told the Chicago Sun-Times on Monday that he didn’t direct fundraisers to give $1.5 million in campaign contributions to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich if he agreed to let Jackson fill Barack Obama’s seat in the Senate back in 2008.
Rajinder Bedi, a fund-raiser and onetime state worker, testified at Blagojevich’s trial last week that he met Jackson and another fund-raiser at an election meeting just before the 2008 election, the newspaper reports. A few hours later, Bedi (now a government witness) met with the Blagojevich camp to offer $1 million in exchange for Jackson’s appointment.
Jackson told the newspaper on Monday that Bedi “absolutely” made the offer to the Blagojevich team on his own, and that he had “no idea” why anyone would say otherwise. He also said he’s “very confident” he has no legal troubles to worry about.
“I’ve committed and participated in no such scheme. It’s been a thorough investigation. And I think the investigation has revealed that,” Jackson said.
“I’ve had brighter days and glory days,” Jackson said. “But there are ups and downs in public life. I roll with the punches.”