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Jackson Pays $10,000 to Law Firm

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) paid $10,000 from his re-election coffers to a Chicago-based law firm in April, according to his most recent campaign finance report.

It is not clear whether the payment to the Law Offices of Vickie L. Pasley is related to the Justice Department’s investigation centered on former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D), who is on trial on charges of public corruption.

Jackson, a subject in the federal investigation tied to a pay-to-play scheme allegedly orchestrated by Blagojevich, has paid more than $265,000 in legal fees to various firms since December 2008.

The lawmaker reported no additional payments to any of the firms he has previously hired, however, including the D.C.-based Brand Law Group, Chicago-based lawyer James Montgomery or the law firm Steptoe & Johnson.
In his quarterly Federal Election Commission report, Jackson said the payment to the Pasley firm was for “legal research services.” A Jackson spokeswoman did not immediately return an e-mail seeking comment.

According to its website, the Pasley firm specializes in “personal injury law, estate planning, and family law disputes.”

Jackson, who has denied wrongdoing, is identified as “Senate Candidate Number Five” in the Justice Department’s investigation of Blagojevich. An Illinois Democratic fundraiser is alleged to have offered to raise $1 million for Blagojevich if the governor named Jackson to the Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama.

Blagojevich, who was impeached and removed from office, has subpoenaed Jackson to testify in his ongoing trial in Chicago. It is not known whether Jackson will be called.

The Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, commonly known as the House ethics committee, announced in September that it would hold off its investigation of Jackson in deference to the ongoing Justice Department probe.

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