Key Questions from Blagojevich-Jesse Jackson Story: Who was the emissary? | Harper's Magazine

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[Washington Babylon]

Key Questions from Blagojevich-Jesse Jackson Story: Who was the emissary?


News stories yesterday identified Jesse Jackson Jr. as “Candidate 5” in the criminal complaint against Governor Rod Blagojevich. “Of the six candidates for the senate seat who are identified by number in the complaint, but not named, only Candidate 5 is said to have engaged in possible wrongdoing by engaging in discussions through an emissary about a possible quid pro quo with Mr. Blagojevich’s camp,” said the New York Times. “The emissary was also not identified by name.”

A section of a Chicago Sun-Times story adds this:

The criminal complaint against Blagojevich discloses that he and his brother discussed picking Jackson over other candidates because an “emissary” indicated Jackson would help raise money for the governor’s cash-strapped campaign fund. “In a recorded conversation on October 31, 2008, Rod Blagojevich described an earlier approach by an associate of Senate Candidate Five as follows: ‘We were approached “pay to play.” That, you know, he’d raise me 500 grand. An emissary came. Then the other guy would raise a million, if I made him [Senate Candidate 5] a senator,’ ” the complaint states.

Jackson Jr. denies any wrongdoing and says he knows nothing about such actions by any emissary. Which leads to the key question: Who was the emissary who offered to raise all that money? Could the emissary have been operating without the knowledge of Jackson Jr.? Hopefully we’ll have the answers to those questions shortly.

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