CHICAGO (CBS) — U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) was speaking out for the first time on Thursday about the 14-year sentence handed down to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
As CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports, at a rally for Chicago postal workers, Jackson declared that the Blagojevich scandal has “shamed our state.”
He also said Blagojevich’s sentencing was “a sad day for Illinois, a very sad day for (Blagojevich’s) wife and for his family. No one is shouting with glee, with excitement over what happened and transpired.”
Blagojevich was convicted of trying to get $1.5 million in campaign cash from a key Jackson fundraiser in exchange for appointing Jackson to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama.
Jackson took the stand at Blagojevich’s trial this year. He denied any wrongdoing, saying he did not authorize anyone to offer Blagojevich campaign money.
“I never directed anyone to raise money for another politician in my life, other than myself, in 16 years,” Jackson testified.
But Jackson is facing a Congressional ethics probe into the Blagojevich allegations and for allegedly using his congressional staff to publicly campaign for the Senate seat.
Jackson admitted he wanted the Senate appointment, but said, “I’m confident I did nothing wrong.”