By Chris Fusco and Natasha Korecki
CHICAGO–Ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has subpoenaed Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. to testify at his upcoming criminal trial, adding Jackson to a long list of politicians the former governor says can help him clear his name.
The South Side Democratic congressman was one of several people Blagojevich once considered appointing to President Obama’s U.S. Senate seat after the 2008 presidential election. Prosecutors have alleged Blagojevich effectively put Obama’s seat up for sale.
Blagojevich lawyer Sam Adam Jr. said Jackson would make a valuable witness “because he knows what we know. . . . Blagojevich never tried to sell the seat, and Jesse Jackson Jr. wasn’t trying to buy it.”
Jackson acknowledged Friday that he, “like other elected officials, have received a subpoena to testify as a witness for” Blagojevich.
“Of course, I will comply with this compulsory order of the court and testify at trial if necessary,” Jackson said in a statement. “If and when I am called, I will tell the truth and say under oath what I’ve said again and again since this shocking scandal first broke. I did nothing wrong and never authorized or engaged in any scheme related to the then-vacant Senate seat.”
Blagojevich also has subpoenaed Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and made a failed effort to call Obama to testify at his trial, which is set to begin next month.