Why has Jesse Jackson, Jr. escaped prosecution in Blago case?
The great John Kass of the Chicago Tribune reveals what most of the press has avoided in the Blagojevich case, there's evidence that Congressman Jesse Jackson,, Jr. was involved in a plan to pay off then-Governor Blagojevich for appointing him to Obama's vacant Senate seat.
Junior G-Man might not be a big winner, but he is the luckiest politician in town.
Jackson Jr. wanted the U.S. Senate seat once held by President Obama. As governor, Blagojevich had the power to appoint the successor. Blago wanted money. Jackson's Indian friends had lots of it.
When it was learned in 2008 that mysterious businessmen were willing to spend great amounts of moolah to persuade Dead Meat to appoint Jackson, the South Side congressman issued a stern statement saying he was "not a target of this investigation."
But just a couple of weeks ago, out of the jury's earshot, federal prosecutors told U.S. District Judge James Zagel an amazing tale: Jackson had met in a restaurant with several Indian supporters who discussed specifically how much they planned to offer to Gov. Dead Meat in exchange for the appointment.
Oops! Jackson once convinced a few gullible TV reporters that he was working undercover to help fight corruption as Junior G-Man. But after the restaurant story, he had some explaining to do.
Jackson revised his old "not a target" statement to the more nuanced, "I have never been advised that I am a target of this investigation."
Advised. Get it?
The way things look now, Jackson Jr. has skipped past the graveyard. He never had any sit-down with Blagojevich to talk about the Senate seat.
"He's a bad guy," Blagojevich said about Jackson on federal tape. "He's really not the guy I hoped or thought he was. He's really bad."
Weird. That's exactly what jurors might be saying about Blagojevich in a few days.
As far as Jackson goes, there's one thing you can say. He's lucky. Very lucky. He should leave politics and go to Vegas.
It's curious why he's escaped an indictment for attempted bribery or a House Ethics Committee Investigation.