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Jackson Pays $25,000 in Legal Fees

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), the subject of multiple investigations tied to a pay-to-play scheme orchestrated by ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D), paid out $25,000 in legal fees in the third quarter of 2009, according to his most recent campaign finance report.The Illinois lawmaker reported a single payment in July to Chicago-based attorney James Montgomery, bringing his total legal bill from Montgomery to $140,000 since late December.Jackson, who has denied wrongdoing, is identified as “Senate Candidate Number Five— in the Justice Department’s investigation of the then-Illinois governor. Blagojevich, who has since been impeached and removed from office, is accused of trying to sell President Barack Obama’s then-vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder.The Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, commonly known as the House ethics committee, announced in September it voted to defer investigation of Jackson in deference to the Justice Department’s ongoing inquiry.The Office of Congressional Ethics, a quasi-independent panel established by the House to review and recommend potential ethics violations to the ethics committee, also probed Jackson’s role in the alleged pay-to-play operation.The OCE voted in July to advise the ethics panel to review the case, as well as to examine whether Jackson may have used his taxpayer-funded office budget, known as a Members’ Representational Allowance, to promote his interest in the Senate seat.

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