Skip to comments.Fund-raiser: Jesse Jackson Jr. behind $6M Senate-seat scheme
Posted on 09/21/2010 8:39:18 AM PDT by Graybeard58
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. directed a major political fund-raiser to offer former Gov. Rod Blagojevich millions of dollars in campaign cash in return for an appointment to the U.S. Senate, sources said the fund-raiser has told federal authorities.
The allegation by Oak Brook businessman Raghuveer Nayak counters public statements made as recently as last week by Jackson that he never authorized any deal to attempt to buy the Senate seat. » Click to enlarge image The allegation that Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. directed a major political fund-raiser to offer former Gov. Rod Blagojevich millions of dollars in campaign cash in return for an appointment to the U.S. Senate contradicts public statements he made as recently as last week. (AP File)
» Click to enlarge image Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (left) and Raghuveer Nayak pose in front of the White House on Oct. 8, 2008, the day Nayak says a critical meeting occurred.
» Click to enlarge image Raghuveer Nayak (The India Tribune)
» Click to enlarge image Giovana Huidobro
Nayak also told authorities he paid for two airline trips for a "social acquaintance" of the Democratic congressman at Jackson's request, raising more potential ethical and political problems for Jackson.
The FBI interviewed that acquaintance -- a Washington, D.C., restaurant hostess named Giovana Huidobro -- about a year ago as part of its corruption probe of Blagojevich. Authorities were trying to determine whether Jackson had asked Nayak to offer Blagojevich campaign cash in exchange for the then-governor appointing Jackson to the seat once held by President Obama, according to sources with knowledge of the probe.
Huidobro, Jackson and Nayak all dined together on Oct. 8, 2008 -- the same day that Nayak has told authorities he had a key conversation with Jackson about the Senate appointment, sources said. The three then ended up at Ozio, the restaurant and club where Huidobro works and where Jackson has held fund-raisers.
Huidobro told authorities she knew nothing of Jackson's political dealings regarding the Senate seat, according to sources. She also said she flew to Chicago on several occasions at Jackson's request and that Jackson sometimes reimbursed her for her travels.
Nayak told the FBI that he paid for two airline trips for Huidobro from Washington to Chicago in 2008.
Through a spokesman, Jackson declined to comment for this story.
Jackson does not appear to have reported the flights for Huidobro as a gift on his House financial-disclosure statement, and it's unclear whether he violated any ethics or fund-raising laws by not doing so.
He was once considered a potential presidential candidate and now is discussing a bid to succeed Mayor Daley. His wife, Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th), also has been mentioned as a possible mayoral candidate, though she downplayed her chances of running during a jobs rally she attended Monday.
In a radio interview about the mayor's race last week, Jackson challenged federal prosecutors to "bring it on" if they have evidence he was a conspirator in Blagojevich's corruption case.
The Sun-Times has been investigating the new allegations since the beginning of the year.
Jackson repeatedly has denied any wrongdoing, including making any offers to Blagojevich in exchange for the Senate-seat appointment.
Nayak, however, has told investigators a different story.
Before he dined with Huidobro and Jackson on Oct. 8, 2008, Nayak said he had a critical conversation with the congressman about the seat while the two were alone. Nayak, also a former Blagojevich fund-raiser, said that Jackson asked him to tell Blagojevich that if the then-governor appointed Jackson to the U.S. Senate, Chicago's Indian community would raise $1 million for Blagojevich and -- after Jackson was appointed -- Jackson would raise $5 million for the then-governor.
The Oak Brook businessman had been in Washington for a bill signing regarding U.S.-India relations. Jackson picked up Nayak from the White House, where they posed for a picture together. The photo was entered into evidence during Blagojevich's summer trial.
The FBI's August 2009 interview with Huidobro came after Nayak, who was cooperating with authorities, submitted credit card bills to show he twice purchased airline tickets to fly her from Washington to Chicago, in October and December of 2008, sources said.
In a March 2009 FBI interview, Jackson described Huidobro as a "social acquaintance," sources said. Jackson also acknowledged to authorities he met with Nayak on Oct. 8, 2008, but he told federal agents he never authorized Nayak to make any offer to Blagojevich regarding the Senate seat.
In a brief telephone interview early last week, Huidobro replied "How did you get my name?" when asked about Jackson, Nayak, the Senate seat and trips to Chicago. She told a reporter she would call later on but hasn't returned calls since.
Approached at Ozio Monday night, Huidobro refused to talk to a reporter.
Nayak's lawyer, Thomas McQueen, confirmed that his client discussed with the FBI the Oct. 8 meeting and provided documents to authorities involving his dealings with Jackson.
Jackson has not been charged with any crime. Nor has Nayak, who contributed $12,000 to Jackson's congressional campaign between 2001 and 2006. Nayak faces his own federal scrutiny, including a current IRS inquiry involving his business dealings with state official and fund-raiser Rajinder Bedi.
Nayak is a family friend of the congressman and his father, the Rev. Jesse Jackson. Nayak also has been a business partner with the congressman's brother Jonathan Jackson.
Congressional ethics investigators began an inquiry into Jackson last year but suspended it in mid-September 2009 after authorities told them the inquiry might interfere with "pending criminal proceedings and ongoing investigation." Ethics officials have since declined to comment about the status of the Jackson inquiry, as has the FBI and U.S. attorney's office.
Prosecutors charged the former governor with trying to trade a Senate -seat appointment to Jackson in exchange for what Blagojevich believed to be a $1.5 million offer.
At Blagojevich's trial, Bedi said he, Jackson and Nayak were present at an Oct. 28 meeting at which fund-raising for Blagojevich was discussed in exchange for Jackson's appointment.
But at the previously undisclosed Oct. 8 meeting, Nayak told authorities that Jackson directed him to approach the Blagojevich camp with an offer of $5 million and $1 million.
At trial, Robert Blagojevich, Friends of Blagojevich chair, said he was twice approached by Indian fund-raisers offering money for Jackson. He testified that Nayak had offered the $6 million for Jackson.
Well ONE thing’s for sure...Jackson will never DREAM of playing the race card!! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Will Rep. Jackson run for mayor of Chicago? I think that he’ll run. He thinks that few people care that some people tried to buy the U.S. Senate seat for him.
We all know Jackson was doing that. The question was if the media was going to cover it up for him. I hope the s-—storm for Jesse Jr. begins now.
Oh, that’s right. Eric Holder only prosecutes white people.
Hey! “Raghuveer” is my middle name!
Are there any pics of this social acquaintance , Giovanna Huidobro?
I share your cynicism. Nothing will come of this ever.
Offering $6M for a senate seat. Goes to show why some fight tooth and nail to keep their seat - all the perks, making money while in that seat, etc. They know they will make that money back in no time. The gov’t is a drawing card for these criminals. If it weren’t for the gov’t, these low life’s would be selling drugs or involved with another criminal operation. They have taken our gov’t and made it into a criminal enterprise.
It truly shows we NEED term limits for these thieves that rob taxpayers and intimidate others with shakedowns for personal favors.
I think Jr had a better chance of getting off before the Blago trial. Now, I’m not so sure.
The plot sickens.
Now this is INTERESTING!
I did a net search lookin’ for pics of Giavanna Huidobro. One site was labeled “Fotos of Giovanna Huidobro.” It took me to a “PORN STARr” site! Her pic at this article’s link shows a good-looking blond. A perfect gal for Tiger Woods! Jcube, Jesse Jr, might be gettin’ a lot of heat at home real soon!
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (left) and Raghuveer Nayak pose in front of the White House on Oct. 8, 2008, the day Nayak says a critical meeting occurred.
Holy moly ... the thug machine that keeps on giving. What was this, long distance escort services ? Et tu, Rahm ? BTW, according to news reports, good ole Carol Moseley Braun also looks to be joining the herd to be a certain mayoral candidate in Chicago.
Who is usa adjustment? What right do you have to tell (blk) people that they shouldn’t re-elect their congressman?
9/21/2010 10:59 AM CDT on suntimes.com
Fitzgerald is reaching for straws here....and he probably planted this story to derail Jesse’s re-election. I smell a BIG rat.
9/21/2010 10:58 AM CDT on suntimes.com
Dear Eric Holder, U.S. Attorny General
I don’t recall the last time we had an Attorney General forced out, oh..wait, wasn’t that John Mitchell of the Nixon administration?
Anyways, Mr. Holder take the gloves off and stop playing politics in Illinois. This whole thing started with Blago, and the timing of Blago’s arrest stunk.
If you could have waited longer you might have caught more fish in the net?
But, Mr. Holder, you sprung the trap only to get the Blago brothers?
And now the toothpaste is out of the tube, and you know what that means.
More indictments please Mr. Holder. Get on the phone to Chicago and get busy !!!
9/21/2010 10:55 AM CDT on suntimes.com
None of this makes any sense. If what this Raghuveer Nayak guy says is true, why wasn’t it entered as evidence into the trial? Apparently, if this guy was part of a scheme to buy the senate seat, why was he not charged; why was congressman, Jackson Jr not charged? I smell a Federal rat. This guy is nothing more than an operative of federal prosecutors planted to make their case against the former governor. But, they put on a case that stops short of answering some critical questions. Who is this guy? Why would he offer money to help secure the senate seat for Jackson Jr? I think he and these allegations were not part of the trial because they are NOT TRUE. A trial would have exposed that.
Most of all why is this information (lie) just coming out now? Something’s fishy. Don’t be a knee-jerker and believe the feds and their weak case.
9/21/2010 10:46 AM CDT on suntimes.com
jhoward, Travis Bickle couldn’t have said it any better.
9/21/2010 10:44 AM CDT on suntimes.com
Well, well, well. The Sun-Times came short of writing it, but implied that the restaurant tart wasn’t a political affiliate.
Let’s see, on Friday JJJ says bring it on and by Tuesday he is knocked out.
I want to hear more about the hostess.
Dear Reverand Save-a-pimp and sons, lets talk. You’re acting like the Kennedy’s in 1960.
The Jackson family should know better.
9/21/2010 10:44 AM CDT on suntimes.com
They did “bring it on,” Jesse, Jr.
I hope you and Blago get to be cellmates.
9/21/2010 10:39 AM CDT on suntimes.com
How low can these cockroaches go, coming out of the woodwork. Mainly his wi-fe even thinks she could run the city...pathetic.
Is there anyone that knows of a qualified, well-qualified, politician...that doesn’t lie, steal, cheat, have everything on-line, and transparent to the public, and quit voting the same in based on race...etc.
I knew Jackson Jr. was always a worthless POS, and his father, a REV that had a kid out of wedlock, were both as stupid as an empty can of Budweiser.
Why can’t someone that has a political background - political science background go into the field - fresh out of college, with no connections...and you people of Chicago are as stupid is as stupid does...voting for race, or just because you are a friend.
It’s really sickening that they don’t make these candidates go through a 200 page test to even qualify to run. An IQ test - something. All you have are the same old...liars!!!!
Rham is behind this, too. Why don’t you people wise up, disregard race...and put term limits in, so at least your not stuck with the same scum.
All of them running - even Mosley, all they see is dollar signs.
Don’t vote for anyone already in the political scene. Vote on their qualifications. Do your homework. Blacks should quit voting just because the candidate is BLACK. Whites didn’t vote for Obama based on color.
9/21/2010 10:38 AM CDT on suntimes.com
And Patrick Fitzgerald should be replaced by David Hoffman who has more of an appetite for justice. And who will go after anybody. Unlike fitzgerald who won’t go after his fellow countrymen (you know who i’m talking about).And by this time there should have been at least a dozen or more indictments and prosecutions. I know the wheels of justice turn slow but this is rediculous.
9/21/2010 10:37 AM CDT on suntimes.com
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it?
When young Jesse underwent his laparoscopic Duodenal Switch (DS) procedure in 2005 and lost 60 pounds, it seemed reasonable that he had found a new friend in DC.
Now, it seems, Junior’s friend is a blond restaurant hostess.
Like father, like son.
And TONS of pages of them (scroll down)
Hmmm? Wonder if she was with JJJ in Spain?
He’s got a Peruvian girlfriend on the side.
They brought it on.
Triple J is toast.
Hello! I wonder if you might be able to help me. I was emailing a lady from Peru and her friend caused her family to cut her off from me. She lives in Lima Peru (If the lady emailing me was who she said she was.) She is a model from the site cinco uno . Her name is Giovanna Huidobro. Can you help me find out if she is the person I was emailing and help her get in touch with me or find out if she is okay after the earthquake. Tell her I love her. She said that is her model name and Mercedes is her real name I think. Thank you if you can help me and if you can not will you please at least let me know. I really love this lady. Stuart
Posted by: Stuart Edge | August 20, 2007 at 07:26 PM
The names Huidboro and Mallorca do appear together
Yes he is!