Jesse Jackson Jr. Takes Stand in Corruption Case
(Chicago Sun Times) — Rod Blagojevich has called U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. “repugnant,” a liar, and a “really bad guy.” Then he called him to the witness stand. It was a gamble for the former governor to ask his onetime nemesis to testify Wednesday as the first defense witness in his retrial, one that ultimately didn’t seem to pay off. As he took the stand on an electrified day that also saw the testimony of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Jackson’s remarks initially appeared helpful. In contrast to what a government witness’ testimony suggested, Jackson said he in no way knew about or authorized anyone to offer Blagojevich money in exchange for the Senate seat. Jackson’s testimony then devolved as he leveled an allegation against the ex-governor, mocked Blagojevich, and appeared as if he were enjoying it. Jackson alleged Blagojevich did not appoint his wife, Ald. Sandi Jackson, to an Illinois Lottery post because Jackson refused to ante up a $25,000 campaign contribution.