Jesse Jackson Jr. Ethics Probe In Motion Again

Oct 20, 2011, 08:28 by R.E. Christian

The U.S. House Ethics Committee said Tuesday it lifted its hold on its probe of Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who came under the cloud of the Rod Blagojevich case.

The panel had put the Democratic Illinois congressman's case in abeyance in August 2009 for the duration of the Democratic Illinois governor's corruption trial at the request of the U.S. Justice Department.

In a statement on its Web site, the committee said it had voted last Thursday to end the deferral period.

"The committee notes that the mere fact of a referral or an extension, and the mandatory disclosure of such an extension and the name of the subject of the matter, does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the committee," the statement said. "The committee will announce its course of action in this matter on or before Dec. 2 ... ."

The panel's chairwoman is Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Ala., and the ranking Democrat is Rep. Linda Sanchez of California.

Jackson had been considered a possible replacement for the U.S. Senate seat in Illinois vacated by Barack Obama when he was elected president in 2008. The committee disclosed in 2009 it was looking into whether Jackson had used his congressional staff in his bid to line up the appointment.

Jackson wound up testifying at the federal trial of Blagojevich, who was found guilty of seeking to parlay the Senate appointment into personal gain.

Reports last year said an Illinois businessman, Raghuveer Navak, allegedly told investigators Jackson was willing to raise $6 million for Blagojevich in return for the appointment.

Jackson has denied any wrongdoing, saying he "was never part of any improper scheme with Blagojevich or anyone else related to securing" the Senate vacancy.

Source: UPI