Robert Blagojevich to speak to Congress

April 13, 2012 2:45:34 PM PDT
Rob Blagojevich, the former governor's brother, will appear before the House Ethics Committee investigating Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.

The investigation is targeting an alleged scheme to sell President Barack Obama's former Senate seat.

Robert Blagojevich says he cannot comment, but a source says that sometime within the next several weeks, he will head to Washington to speak -- at least initially -- to staff investigators with the Congressional Office on Ethics. The older brother of the former governor has said before that he has "pay-to-play" information that he wants to share with House members.

Robert Blagojevich last year wrote members of the House Ethics Committee, saying he would be willing to talk to them, and that he had additional information about Congressman Jackson's 2008 quest for the Obama Senate seat.

Last December, the Office of Congressional Ethics announced that it had found "probable cause" to believe that Congressman Jackson either personally directed, or at least knew of, a plan to offer campaign money to the former governor in return for Jackson's appointment to the Senate. Jackson has denied that, saying that he sought the Senate seat on merit, not money, that he never raised campaign cash for Rod Blagojevich.

On primary election night, March 20, Jackson said he expects to be vindicated when all is said and done.

"I wish I controlled that process. If I did, it'd be over, I'd call an end to it immediately because it doesn't make sense," said Congressman Jackson. "But I'm confident that when it's over I will be vindicated."

Robert Blagojevich, on the other hand, was his brother's chief fundraiser in 2008, had direct dealings with Jackson's deep-pocket contributors, and has said what he knows should help the ethics panel find the truth.

Ethics committee investigations are not typically characterized by their speed. The committee first began its look at Jackson and the alleged pay-to play scheme in 2009. The probable cause finding last December, and now Robert Blagojevich's input, means it is moving forward, but there is no timetable for the ethics committee to reach conclusions and make recommendations.


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