A congressional ethics committee said Friday it will continue investigating allegations Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. sent emissaries to offer campaign cash to then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich to secure an appointment to now-President Barack Obama's Senate seat.
The committee will investigate whether Jackson's actions violated federal law and House rules and whether staff resources of his Washington, D.C., and Chicago offices were used to help secure the appointment, violating the law.
The congressman, who testified this summer in former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's corruption retrial, said in a statement released Friday he will "continue to fully cooperate" with the ethics committee.
Jackson again said that he wanted the Senate appointment, but he denies allegations he offered campaign cash to Blagojevich in exchange for the seat.
"I have said from the beginning that I publicly and transparently sought to have the Governor of Illinois appoint me to fulfill the final two years of then-Senator Barack Obama's term in the U.S. Senate," Jackson said. "I did nothing illegal, unethical or inappropriate in that pursuit and I believe that is what the Ethics Committee will conclude at the end of this process. I did everything within my power to protect the integrity of my office and the people who elected me to serve them."
"At the end of the process," he said, "I still believe I will be vindicated."
The committee wrote in a 2009 report (.pdf) looking into allegations that there is "probable cause" Jackson directed the campaign contribution:
"There is probable cause to believe that Representative Jackson either (1) directed a third-party, most likely Mr. Raghuveer Nayak, to offer to raise money for Governor Blagojevich in exchange for appointing Representative Jackson to the Senate seat, or (2) had knowledge that Nayak would likely make such an offer once Representative Jackson authorized him to advocate on his behalf with Governor Blagojevich."
"There is substantial reason to believe that Representative Jackson violated federal law and rules promulgated by the Committee on House Administration concerning the proper use of the Member's Representational Allowance."
Jackson faces Former Rep. Debbie Halvorson for his seat in the 2nd District.
Blagojevich is set to be sentenced Wednesday on 17 corruption counts, including trying to sell Obama's vacated Senate seat. The former governor was to have been sentenced in early October, but Zagel delayed the proceeding because of the trial of Springfield power broker William Cellini, a Blagojevich associate.